Thursday, March 02, 2006
OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLE
many of us would have read jane austen's 'pride and prejudice' in our younger days.set in 18th century britain,the story is about five sisters and a purpose-driven mother and a take-it-easy father.the mother finding that her children are of age and realising their rather weak economic condition is hell-bent on seeing her daughters married off to well-to-do guys.
no love marriage here.it is all arranged and all for the good of everyone.but she has a problem with her second daughter who has a mind of her own.she is beautiful,wellread and can't think of marriage unless she has fallen in love.no such nonsense for the mom.all her time is spent in showcasing her five daughters to likely suitors by taking them to balls,inviting people home etc etc.in some cases she succeeds and in some she fails.her husband is uninvolved and is clear that whatever has to happen will happen.
the question that begs is, is this story worthy of an nth adaptation as a movie.several p&p have been cinematised in the past all of them not so successfully.where does the appeal lie in the story? and why is it that every now and then some people are bitten by the bug to bring this story on celluloid? the answer to me appears to be simple.it is a masala waiting to be properly mixed and exploited.if judiciously done a fortune could be made.
the story is about one humongous family,chitchatting and giggling girls,a dominant mother and a kind lovable father.set in the old days of britain,it brings with it some oldworld charm and values.how economically deprived people can exploit their strengths to improve their wellbeing.it needs a strong and independent mind like that of mrs beetly and focus to achieve her objectives.
what are the plus points in this movie? of course keira knightley as elizabeth,the second precocious daughter of donald sutherland and breda beetley who are mr and mrs bennet.her beauty is a given.her acting rises to great heights.who would have imagined that a 20 year old dyslexic girl who started her career when she was 3 years of age as a child artiste and played fantastic roles in 'bend it like beckham' and 'domino' would so quickly be close to winning the oscar for her role as lizy?
she hates mr darcey when she first meets him in a ball.he is too arrogant,conceited and condescending.initially he has the same feelings.he gradually starts liking her and even proposes to her which she rejects.but then there is a change of heart and chemistry and she actually falls in love with him,when she knows him for what he truly is.
good costume designs,excellent cinematography,superb direction.all the ingredients for winning an oscar award.nominated under four categories.will p&p make it? your guess is as good as mine.oscar awards are unpredictable.i was bitterly disappointed last year when my favourite actor and most likely for the award didn't make it.it is a gamble.let us wait and see whether the old wine is truly of period quality and importantly is lucky to stand out as a winner.just two more days to go.sunday 5th march.i will wait with bated breath.