Tossing aside the structure of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, the film “Jane Eyre” infuses a contemporary vibe into the ghostly tale.
The film unconventionally starts at the climax of the story and then moves backward to tell Jane Eyre’s (Mia Wasikowska) childhood and schooling in flashbacks. The majority of the film takes place at Thornfield Manor, where governess Jane meets her brooding employer and future lover Rochester (Michael Fassbender). With a plot loosely tied to a ghost haunting the halls and a rival mistress competing for Rochester’s affection, the film keeps the integrity and thrilling suspense of the novel.
Striking period costumes and language instantly establish a time and place, while the beautifully shot scenery and colorful cinematography contributes to the mood of every scene. Seeing the exact same moment again from the beginning, where it fits in after all of the other events have happened, adds much more emotionality and power.
Disappointingly, the movie lacks a formidable leading man. However, Wasikowska is perfect in her strength, defiance and elegance. She hits the mark on the pro-feminist themes of the 1847 book, and her resolve engages the audience.
“Jane Eyre” is a heartbreaking story with the makings of a classic, just like the novel.
“Jane Eyre” was written by Moira Buffini and directed by Cary Fukunaga. It was adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë.
3 out of 4 stars