Sunday, June 1, 2014

Jane Eyre (2011)


Director: Cary Fukunaga
Writers:  Charlotte Bronte (Novel), Moira Buffini
Cast:       Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench

Jane Eyre is a mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer but soon discovers that he is hiding a terrible secret. 

Charlotte Bronte's novel from early 19th century has been adapted around 24 times and this is the latest one. In this adaptation they have played up the dark Gothic feel of the Thornfield Hall and its owner Rochester played by Michael Fassbender. Unlike in the novel, the story is told in a non-linear fashion through flashbacks. The point at which the film starts is Jane Eyre fearfully fleeing from the castle and almost ending up dead. This sets the tone for how we watch as the story unfolds since we are always dreading about how their relationship goes. I was almost glad when I eventually found out why she had fled from her employer and after that the story is almost straightforward. It is ultimately a very predictable and soap operatic story made far more interesting in this version of it through the non-linear narration and the overall darkness which was anyways there in the original novel. Great performances from all involved, especially Mia and Fassbender playing the two lead characters.

I was reminded of '12 Years a slave' by around half way point of the film with strange similarities between some of the characters in both the films. If one really thinks about it, it is almost the same story (In relation to Fassbender and Lupita's characters and their relation). For me the most interesting character in 12 Years a slave was the one portrayed by Michael Fassbender anyways.

I have been seeking out Cary Fukunaga's works after seeing 'True Detective' and both 'Sin Nombre' and 'Jane Eyre' turned out to be excellent films. He is certainly one to look forward to. He will be serving as Executive Producer for season two of 'True Detective'. It will be interesting to see how it turns out because I think having single director for the entire season really made a difference to its quality.

Rating: 4/5