Friday night, H. and I watched Jane Eyre.
Obviously, as a woman with a Creative Writing degree, I enjoy Jane Eyre. That’s, like, a requirement for graduating. I’ve only read it once, in high school, but I have mostly good memories (even though at first I hated it. Too much boarding school; I stand by my opinion). The trailer looks BANANAS, right? Using the Suspiria theme is kind of an emotional shortcut, but it really does get across the weirdness of Jane Eyre.
Before we watched it, I tried to explain to H. that Jane Eyre is a weird book/film. It seems like it’s going to be a semi-normal love story if you don’t know much about it, but it is actually super strange! I also warned him that he would not be able to suspect the weirdest surprise.
H: “Is she really a man?”
ME: “LISTEN, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GUESS, OKAY?”
When the surprise twist was revealed, he actually yelled “Whaaaaat?” at the screen, so I guess I was right.
Here’s the thing about this adaptation: It is very, very beautiful. There are so many lovely shots, and everything’s lit by candle/fire light, and it’s all just moody and dark. You know who else is moody and dark? Mr. Rochester, amirite, ladies? Mr. Rochester is basically a huge babe (duh) and Michael Fassbender is in FINE FORM here. He’s angry a lot, he shoots some stuff, and oh man. I feel like I can’t mention Michael Fassbender without mentioning that there were assault charges against him but the charges were dropped. Do with that information what you will.
I feel like the film assumes you already have a basic knowledge of Jane Eyre, because it skimps out on kind of a lot, story-wise. I mean, there is hardly any boarding school, which is fine by me. But the relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester isn’t developed much at all. This was no problem for me, since I’m heavily invested in their relationship/problems already, but I think it might seem a little sudden for someone who didn’t know the backstory. H. agreed.
Conclusion: Do you like Jane Eyre? Do you like slow movies? Do you like weird, high-waisted pants on men? Do you enjoy candlelight? Then this is the movie for you. If you get bored easily and you’ve never read Jane Eyre, maybe not. Also, go read Jane Eyre. What is wrong with you?!