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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jane Eyre

Cary Fukunaga's decidedly more Gothic adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's moving and disturbing 1847 novel comes to theaters this year. And it's shaping up to be my most anticipated of 2011, right now. 

"It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility;
they must have action, and they will make it if they cannot find it." -
Charlotte Bronte

More than 20 adaptations of Jane Eyre have been 'conceived' since the birth of film, since 1910 to be exact. It began with a handful of silent films that were loosely based on the novel, and has since moved on to several film and television productions, it has been performed on stage in musicals and ballets, there has been a graphic novel among countless other books based on the novel, and in 1943, there was even a radio show. It's one of the most retold stories in literary history, and for good reason. The mark of a truly timeless novel lies in its ability to remain relevant through many adaptations. There has even been an adaptation of the book, called Jane Slayre, in which she goes through the events of the classic story, but... Buffy style.

The latest version of the tale will star Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester. Also starring are Jamie Bell and Dame Judi Dench. Adaptation by Moira Buffini.

The very basic story is that an orphaned girl, who moves in with her abusive aunt and cousins, who - through her time at Lowood School - experiences privation despite making friends finally. She becomes the Governess of Thornfield Hall and is torn between two men.

Despite the apparent and overt Gothic/horror overtones, the film is said to follow Bronte's novel closely. Of the changes to the tone and appearance of the film, Fukunaga stated "I’ve spent a lot of time rereading the book and trying to feel out what Charlotte Brontë was feeling when she was writing it. That sort of spookiness that plagues the entire story... there’s been something like 24 adaptations, and it’s very rare that you see those sorts of darker sides. They treat it like it’s just a period romance, and I think it’s much more than that." in an interview with Movieline

Jane Eyre's trailer - 

What do you think of the feel Cary Fukunaga has adopted for the film? Is it too much? or completely off track? Or, if you're like me, does it feel alarmingly right? Let me know in the comments below.