is an adaption of the classic literary
novel by acclaimed author Charlotte
Brontë. This version was
scripted by Moira Buffini and directed by the film-maker Cary Joji
story is about Jane Eyre (Mia
Wasikowska) and how she must learn to overcome past circumstances and
happiness for herself- though she may not entirely realize that. We are introduced to her as a young child. She
was once an orphan and then mistreated in a rather cold and unwelcoming
that established a great deal of her personality (that she should
and true to herself despite what negative attitudes others might
Eventually, Jane leaves this past behind and becomes a governess for
wealthy and (seemingly) cold Rochester (Michael Fassbender). A romance
between the unlikely pair and yet this romance is placed in danger by a
Rochester is keeping from Jane - and soon the true colors of Rochester
does manage to offer many lush visuals and it captivates the mind with
sense of artistic vision quite well at many different points throughout
story. Fukunaga made a film that is unique in its styling's and that
differentiates itself in many ways when comparing this film to previous
adaptations of the novel. This is a film-maker that absolutely knows
frame a captivating image and with the director of photography Adriano
the movie has a quiet beauty that can sometimes works wonders.
unfortunate that this adaptation seems to miss the mark in capturing
spirit of the novel and the story it tells. The PBS Masterpiece Theater
produced in 2007 and directed by Susanna White was vastly superior to
version and it would be wise for audiences who seek an adaptation that
the essential elements of the story to seek out that version instead.
on individual performance merits, Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender
impressive job in bringing genuine emotion and characterization to the
Yet both actors lack the ability to create on-screen chemistry between
characters. This is a major flaw in this production. Fukunaga seems to
them almost as if they are just supposed to be going through the
romance because the characters of Jane and Rochester are already
wind up together in this version. The approach is undesired and
with good reason. It is an error in the approach to telling the story.
also disappointing to find that Wasikowska doesn't manage to portray
strongly as the character is. Judi Dench does help to make these
tad more bearable with her undeniably strong performance adding a great
the film whenever she is on screen.
disappointment about this version of Jane Eyre is actually the
it gives off a major sense of being inspired and made exactly
the success of Joe Wright's version of Pride & Prejudice (starring
Kiera Knightly). The film doesn't seem to exist to tell the story of Jane
Eyre in the best way possible but instead it rather seems to
the success of a previous cinematic experience that was astonishingly
romantic, and genuine.
something of a surprise then that the score was composed by Dario
(who also crafted one of the best scores of all time with the
beautiful Pride & Prejudice). Marianelli start's off the
with quiet cues that don't manage to be as noticeable or endearing. As
progresses the score begins to take flight a bit more. It's a quietly
at times. I did enjoy the music and yet I would feel somewhat hesitant
to even suggest
it as being in the same league of some of his past work. For the
Marianelli will probably have a very hard time topping his own score to
of Jane Eyre has beautiful imagery, strong (but misguided)
and impressive set and costume designs. It's just not as engaging as it
to be or as believable in telling the tale. Jane Eyre is a story that
shared with the world and in the right way. Moira
Buffini's screenplay and Cary Joji
Fukunaga's direction simply don't give any proper justice to the source
Eyre arrives on DVD with a 1:85:1 anamorphic
widescreen presentation that preserves the original theatrical aspect
The film features striking cinematography. The bleakness of it is well
preserved on this release. Colors are often muted and there is a
film-like texture to the image. It isn't a showstopper but it's quite
complimentary to the mood of the movie. There is some softness to the
the overall presentation would be benefited by the Blu-ray High
version (for those who have the option).
audio on this release fares quite well and although
the score by Dario Marianelli is often quietly reserved it sounds
when it has prominence throughout certain sequences of the film. There
are few sound
effects but the ambiance is strong and dialogue is clean and easy to
Jane Eyre is presented with a 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound track,
subtitles are provided in Spanish, French, and in English (for the deaf
hard of hearing).
highlight of this entire release is an
informative and often technical commentary track by director
Fukunaga. Fukunaga covers a lot of ground in how he approached making
and it should be an engaging listen for fans of the film.
scenes are also included, but
the lack of insight into why they were cut is a bit disappointing.
almost non-essential scenes for the most part though (most of them
reinforce elements that were already on display in the film).
a few short and downright annoying PR-style
pieces are included: A Look Inside Jane Eyre, To Score Jane
Cary Fukunaga and Dario Marianelli Team Up, and The Mysterious
Jane Eyre. Each segment runs only a few minutes long and none of
pieces really cover much ground. The first two segments are
and the last piece (The Mysterious Light)
is about the way the film was lit to emphasis shadow and other elements.
one of the most popular novels in the
history of literature and with good reason. The Fukunaga version of the
is not as engaging or faithful as it could have been and the actors
create genuine chemistry. It's a beautiful film to look at (with
cinematography) but the film never takes full flight. It's probably
a look for fans of the story but it should be seen prior to making a
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.