Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review of the Pride and Prejudice BBC Miniseries From 1980

My Jane Austen submersion continues, and I have finished Pride & Prejudice and am now reading Sense & Sensibility  along with listening to Persuasion on Craftlit, a great little knitting/crafting/literature podcast done by Heather Ordover. I also recently finished watching the BBC miniseries version of P&P created in 1980 and thought I might review it here:

Review of Pride and Prejudice, 1980 Series Version

Acting: This production features a wide range of actors for the numerous characters in Austen's book, and some of them took on their task of being the most beloved and despised characters of hundreds of people and represented them very well. I thought the acting done for Lydia, Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins and Elizabeth to be very well done. Elizabeth Garvie, the actress for Elizabeth Bennet, did a fabulous job of using her lines (which were almost all straight from the book) and conveying them with believable emotion and wit. And the rest of the characters I have above mentioned were all played with their deserved amount of foolishness and distaste. The actor chosen for Mr. Darcy,  David Rintoul, while portraying Darcy's proud, sullen, intimidating public air very well, his softer side barely showed. He conveyed little believability in professing his love for the first or second time, hardly smiled, and remained rigid and stiff as a board. I was not pleased with the actor for Bingley, either. He was too silly and awkward, when he was supposed to have been the one perfect at conversing with any and everyone. Mr. Bennet said his lines in the same satirical tone and manner throughout the entire series.

Production and Set: The set and production were certainly nothing astounding, but that can be expected and forgiven, considering the low budget the producers must have been given. The sets were small and unimpressive, one scene ran right into the next without a pause or dissolve, and the sound quality was not so good.

Script and Storytelling: The script was taken almost entirely from the book, which I was reading at the time I watched this. They decided to include nearly every scene from the novel, and in doing so, had to make the scenes short and the series episodes long. If I were them, I would simply have included the most important scenes and quotes. I was also very, very disappointed with the ending. Neither Elizabeth nor Darcy appeared to be very in love with each other, and Darcy professed his love stiffly, and Elizabeth seemed almost afraid of him. When she accepted him, he looked as if he expected her to all along. I was not not impressed.

Overall, I would have to give this 2 out of 5 stars.