Monday, December 30, 2013

Movie Review- Mansfield Park (2007)

The things I do for my blog! Next time you want to know if a Jane Austen adaptation is good you might as well look here because unfortunately I've just about watched them all… the good, the bad, and the ugly. The 2007 version of Mansfield Park was the ugly. I almost disliked it as much as the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice… and you guys know how much I hate that movie. I really don't know where to start on my review of it… there was so much done wrong and then there was parts that were done right and wrong. It was a mess!
First off, let me state that this was an hour and a half long movie and obviously with that time limit justice can not eve nearly be done to the book. A lot of things were left out therefore including the Grants, Fanny's visit to her family, the visit to Sotherton and Mr. Yates.

Characters

A lot was done wrong here… a lot. Mistake #1… casting Billie Piper as Fanny Price. What? Not only was it a miscast but the whole screenwriting for Fanny was just wrong anyways. Fanny comes off in the movie not meek, kind, and selfless as in the book but more outgoing, opinionated at times, and not selfless. Fanny also practically flirts with Edmund on several occasions, which she would not have done! The character of Fanny alone ruins the movie. Edmund was okay… but really not. The actor was fine for the part, but again the screenwriting messed him up. Lady Bertram was not shown as the selfish almost invalid character that she is in the book but she is far more alert and actually encourages the match of Fanny and Edmund. Mrs. Norris is not really explained at all, she is just there at Mansfield Park. She wasn't the best cast but I think with more screen time and better writing she might have done the part justice. Sir Thomas was far too grouchy and apparently, according to Fanny in the movie, there was a cloud lifted from Mansfield when he left on his trip to Antigua. That is NOT how it is in the book. The Crawfords, Tom, and the Bertram sisters were cast well I think and did there parts as much justice as the screenwriting and time constraints allowed. I would have been interested in seeing them with a better script and more time. As with Mrs. Norris, the Crawfords were kind of just dropped in the story and never really explained. 

Screenwriting

As I mentioned multiple times above, the screenwriting left a lot to be desired. The time constraints were ridiculous so that obviously made the screenwriting harder but really? I think even I could have written a better screenplay for an hour and a half version of Manfield Park… though I wouldn't… I would make it much longer than that! What was left out; the Grants, Fany's visit to her family, the visit to Sotherton, and Mr. Yates, was I think left out necessarily with the time constraints but not very smoothly. One thing I don't think they should have left out was Sotherton. A lot happens there that is important in my opinion. Pretty much all of Fanny's lines were not right for her character and the same goes for several other of the characters. 

The Play

One of the pivotal parts of the story is the play, Lover's Vows, which they decide to put on while Sir Thomas is in Antigua. It is NOT pulled off well and not enough time (once again) is given to it. Mary Crawford really goads Edmund into taking the part, which was shocking and I'm surprised that Edmund took it after that. Also, the way the movie portrayed it, it seemed as if he was only taking it so he could make love to her in the play. What irks me the most though about the play was the fact that Fanny does agree to act in it! That just blows my mind. They missed the whole point doing that! 

Other

It was too romancy. Way too much! Edmund and Mary Crawford almost kiss when rehearsing their lines for the play and (now this really upsets me too) Fanny and Mr. Crawford almost kiss! What?

The more I think about it the more this movie upsets me. It will go down in my memory as one of the worst Jane Austen film adaptations I've ever seen. It actually really made me appreciate the 1983 version and I think that you should all just go read the book and then if you want an okay movie version to watch then watch that one and do not ever waste an hour and a half (as I did) on this atrocious movie! 

Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.

2 comments:

  1. I never knew there was a 1983 version of this story. I have only watched the 1999 and 2007 version. I liked the 1999 version with Johnny Lee Miller as Edmond. I don't think I have actually read this story to know how accurate it is, but I know a lot of things were changed from the 1999 movie version and I was like..what..that's so not right..lol. I must read the book. :)

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    1. I have not watched the 1999 version but I've heard enough to know that it is changed more from the book than I could probably handle. I've heard positive reviews though of Johnny Lee Miller as Edmond so if I ever did watch it it would be to see his performance as Edmond. Mansfield Park is just a hard book to adapt into a movie because the heroine is very reserved, doesn't really have major character flaws, so therefore isn't the most exciting protagonist. However, I really like her for those qualities. I highly recommend the book!

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