Thursday, August 4, 2011

1995 and 2005 Pride and Prejudice Comparisons, Part 2

Continuing with my opinions about the characters..........

Lydia Bennet

 2005: With Jena Malone there's hope for Lydia Bennet.  We get the impression that Lydia is a boy-crazy teenager who will probably be way less silly and flirtatious by the time she's twenty.  When I watch this version I think that Lydia should really be upstairs doing her lessons with the governess that Mrs. Bennet should have hired.



1995:  Flirt she is, and flirt she will remain........  Julia Sawalha as Lydia doesn't give as much of the 'silly teenager' impression, but she shows the absolute immaturity of Lydia.  With this Lydia you don't get the idea that she'll get better as she gets older.  I'd say that Julia Sawalha's Lydia is better than Jena Malone's if only for the look on her face when Elizabeth talks about the officers that will be in Brighton.
Mary Bennet

2005: Talulah Riley plays Mary more sympathetically.  She is sort of pretty, and we get the idea that she's not pedantic or silly, but just sensible and left-out.  In spite of my being obsessed with caricatures, it's nice to see that they are human beings and have hopes and feelings just like the rest of us. 


1995:  Mary is ridiculed in this version.  Mary is ugly, silly, and out of touch with reality.  It certainly isn't kind to Mary, but I think it's closer to the book in that.  Jane Austen wasn't always kind to her characters.

 Catherine (Kitty) Bennet


2005: A shadow of the Lydia from the same version, but not quite so flirtatious or silly.  I must say that I prefer this Kitty because I think she will get over her silliness and boy craziness.


1995: Like Julia Sawalha's Lydia but not so pretty, not so silly, not so unashamed, not so good- humored - not so anything!  She doesn't really have a personality of her own.

Georgiana Darcy


(I bet you wondered when I was going to get to her :)

2005: Very sweet, girlish, and  loving, but she's not shy, and she doesn't follow the book's description at all.

1995: Emilia Fox's Georgiana gets pretty close to the real one.  Although she looks a little too girlish for the 'womanly and graceful' Miss Darcy, she is sweetly shy and quite pretty.

Caroline Bingley (and Louisa Hurst)

 2005:  More elegant than the other  Miss Bingley, but at the same time colder and meaner.  I like this, because I don't think Caroline would be quite as vulgar as the 1995 version portrays her.

1995:  This really emphasizes the barely-gentilisized aspect of the Bingley sisters who got their fortune by trade.  They are extravagant, but they have very little taste and less sense.  An advantage of including Mrs. Hurst is that we really get to see the similarities of the Louisa and Caroline Bingley and Kitty and Lydia Bennet. (Especially in the way they laugh - ugh!) The Bingley sisters are a richer, prouder, and more worldly version of the youngest Bennets. 

 Mr. Bennet
2005: It's harder to understand Mr. Bennet.  Something in his  voice....  Anyways, I think Donald Sutherland's performance makes him too much of the kind father, not cynical and neglecting like he actually is.

 1995: His Mr. Bennet has a twinkle in his eye, and fits in quite well.  He loves his two eldest daughters, but he's still the neglecting father. 

 Mrs. Bennet
2005: This Mrs. Bennet is a little less exaggerated.  She is more of  a real person, not just one who provides comic relief.  But she can still be just as embarrasing!

1995: This is what you definately call a caricature!  Almost all the time she is in hysterics and her silliness knows know bounds.  Still, after you get over the 'oh, if that was my mom,' feeling, she's actually quite fun to watch.

 Charlotte Lucas
2005: Plain, but friendly.  She seems to fit in with Mr. Collins quite well, hardly embarrassed by him and very happy at Hunsford.

 1995: Charlotte is clearly driven into marrying Mr. Collins because she has no other choice.  She has this air of reserved embarrassment whenever she's around him and even when she's not.  Charlotte is not exactly pretty, but she is sweet, and her face has a reserved, quiet beauty in it.  The problem, if any, is that she is too good-looking.

Lady Catherine De Bourgh


2005:  This Lady Catherine could easily 'sally forth' to scold  everyone in the parish into 'harmony and plenty,' which makes me like her better than 1995 one, but she looks like she's about seventy, which is way too old, considering she's the mother of Anne.

 1995:  Very imperious, but she's not very stately and doesn't seem to have much energy.  

My apologies for the omission of Mr. Wickham and Mr.  Collins.  I don't remember them that well and there doesn't seem to be much I can compare.

Stay tuned for the next post, concentrating on costumes, scenery, etc.


Melody said...

I personally think Lydia isn't supposed to give the impression she'll grow out of it...that sort of thing would have mentioned in the end of P&P I think, but instead she was writing silly letters to Elizabeth asking for money. :P
Although Kitty was supposed to have hope of improving, as she spends more time with Lizzy and Jane.
Also, I *do* think Kitty is supposed to be a little personality-less. She kind of just takes from whoever she's with, and it was Lydia for a long time.

I LOVE 1995 Mr and Mrs Bennet...they are so funny!!!

Naomi said...

My sis is named Lydia. I have never seen those movies. :(