I saw the preview of the new film Jane Eyre at the BFI yesterday. As I said, Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books EVER. I read the novel originally in my teens, and I have re-read it many times since. I always aspired to be like Jane - she is very resilient in the face of devastating adversity, she is completely independent at a time when the vast majority of women were not at all so, she has real spirit, she has integrity and principles, and she is courageous. I cannot think of a better role model for women, even modern-day women.
The film is outstanding - I loved it! It really captures the heart and soul of the novel. Jane is as she should be - plain but resilient, independent, spirited, and courageous. Mr Rochester is exactly right too - torn, decent, passionate, honest, and trying his best in very difficult circumstances. They both have real character. The screenplay is very true to the spirit of the novel. It retains all the key moments and the key dialogue. I love this film and throughly recommend it to everyone, including any women looking for inspiration!
I thought I would quote one of my favourite passages from the novel to whet your appetite, a passage that is reproduced very faithfully in the film:
“I tell you I must go!” I retorted, roused to something like passion. “Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?—a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you, and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal—as we are!”
“As we are!” repeated Mr. Rochester—“so,” he added, enclosing me in his arms, gathering me to his breast, pressing his lips on my lips: “so, Jane!”
“Yes, so, sir,” I rejoined: “and yet not so; for you are a married man—or as good as a married man, and wed to one inferior to you—to one with whom you have no sympathy—whom I do not believe you truly love; for I have seen and heard you sneer at her. I would scorn such a union: therefore I am better than you—let me go!”
“Where, Jane? To Ireland?”
“Yes—to Ireland. I have spoken my mind, and can go anywhere now.”
“Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation.”
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him.
“And your will shall decide your destiny,” he said: “I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.”
Buy the book here for the unbeatable price of £1.99. The film is excellent yes, but the source material is even better!: