Despite common assumptions, Jane Eyre proves captivating

Erika Roedl, Staff Writer

You know it’s a good movie if it makes you want to read the book, which is exactly what I want to do after watching BBC Film’s Jane Eyre. The film effectively adapts the original book by Charlotte Brontë into something a modern audience would want to watch.

I’m sure I am not atypical for my age in admitting that when I think of Jane Eyre I think of Jane Austen, author of Pride and Prejudice and other satires. However, Brontë’s stories aren’t so cheery. Jane Eyre is a Gothic Romance adapted to film more than 20 times since movies have been around, including a silent film in 1910.

The film is about a plain governess who has had a harsh, depressing life and, consequently, is a very depressed woman. Then she meets a man who is only a decade or two older and has a dark secret.

What was surprising was that the movie was so fast-paced. Films that draw inspiration from Old English literature can put one to sleep if done how the author may have wanted it to be done, but Jane Eyre never had a dull moment.

The movie starts with Jane running away from something, (we don’t know what) and flashes back to her childhood, full of anger and helplessness. Then suddenly she was adult, and after awhile the clip from the beginning is shown again, only this time I knew why she was running away. I also knew that this meant the movie was almost over, and I found I was tremendously disappointed.

I’ve only seen one other adaption before this, but I would be willing to bet that this is the best. Despite Eyre’s hard life and plain face, she is no Bella Swan, full of self-pity. Instead she is strong-willed and even proud of who she is. Mia Wasilowska (Jane) is one of many things I liked about the movie. Watching her learn people skills and how to flirt is adorable.

Her love interest, Mr. Rochester, played by Micheal Fassbender, is a gallant, compassionate character who will be on posters in many preteens’ rooms, despite his age. Both his and Wasilowska’s acting was profound, and I found myself crying when poor young Jane, played by Amelia Clarckson, lost her dear, optimistic, childhood friend who thought everyone had magic, invisible spirits watching over them. I couldn’t help it, after she whispered her last words, “don’t leave me, Jane.”

Don’t worry, macho boyfriends of the world, in addition to being a drama and a romance, Jane Eyre also skimmed the genre of and comedy, with Jane and Mr. Rochester exchanging humorous banter from the moment they meet. The creepy, mysterious voices in the hallways at night and animals coming out of nowhere are even reminiscent of the horror genre.

Unless you’re looking for a car chase, Jane Eyre should be on everyone’s list of ‘Movies to See.’