Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Film Yap: Jane Eyre DVD

Like most film critics, I see too many films a year. I see new releases that look lousy and turn out even worse than expected. I see films that are incredible where I note every nuance. The rest of the bunch ends up in the middle.

I bring this up only because of a perk of writing a DVD review is the short moment to offer a revision. Critics have to predict what elements will stand the test of time based on initial impressions of a piece of art they recently experienced.

So then what is remembered of Miss “Jane Eyre”? I read the book when I was in junior high and can recall several distinct images. I saw the recent adaptation in theatres months ago and the answer is the same. After mastering how to use a wider location to enhance the frame for the focused character in “Sin Nombre”, director Cary Fukunaga moved himself into a more limiting inside story.

The mansions have more shadows that does give an invitation to its many rooms. There is no home for Jane Eyre, which is a nice way to give a visual push towards frustration for a emotionally repressed character. There are some films that are played like gothic horror, which seem a bit out of place, but are individually strong.

The two leads are brilliant. Mia Wasikowska gave a jaw-droppingly good performance in HBO’s “In Treatment”, but has never given the opportunity to show that range in cinema yet. This is a close attempt where she takes the difficulty of the character and puts it behind a strong mask. Michael Fassbender continues his streak of solid performances by playing up the cold charisma of Rochester.

The structuring of the film is an attempt to make the 400 page novel into a reasonably timed movie, but it feels clumped at times. There could have been even more scenes between Jane and Rochester, but they had to do more with less. That makes the ending less climatic than it could have been, but several moments still work throughtout.

The DVD and Blu-Ray have a number of featurettes on them. There is one about the score, the look, and the production of the film. There is also a commentary with Fukunaga talking with himself and a bunch of deleted scenes.

Film: 3.5 Yaps

Extras: 3.5 Yaps


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