Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” Book and Film

Subject: Art
Pages: 2
Words: 675
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Jane Austen’s novels have many loyal fans, and these books’ screen adaptations are very popular. The film Pride & Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright and released in 2005, is one of the film versions of Austen’s novel – Pride and Prejudice. This adaptation, focusing on its target audience, is presented in the genre of romance and drama. The movie raises the themes of love, family relations, marriage, and justifying the title, pride, and prejudice. Opinions about the film differ depending on the generations who watched the versions of other directors and the desire to see accuracy in the novel transmission. Despite some differences from the original work, Pride & Prejudice remains close to the source and still attracts the audience’s attention.

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The plot is built around the Bennet family, not wealthy landed gentry, with five daughters of marriageable age. The main character is the second oldest daughter – Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennet, distinguished by her intellect and cheerful but stubborn character. Due to misunderstanding, rumors, and pride, Lizzie dislikes her new acquaintance – Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice). Later, Darcy proposes to Lizzie but is unflattering about her lower social position and family. Miss Bennet refuses, justifying her choice with Darcy’s unpleasant actions about which she recently learned. However, later it turns out that Darcy is a noble person. He helps the Bennet family and corrects mistakes that led to Elizabeth’s hostility. Lizzie’s attitude towards Darcy changes, and she accepts his proposal.

The film’s plot differs from the novel and earlier adaptations a little. The director shifted the events’ time setting, excluded several minor storylines, and slightly changed the features of the main character to address the intended audience of contemporary viewers (McGuire para. 5-7). For example, the Bennett family relationship is closer, the parents are more caring and sympathetic, and Lizzie is a more stubborn woman. Wright focuses on the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy in the film. The director’s goal was to convey the experience and emotions of young people who feel love first time (Malyon para. 6). His thesis is that regardless of the historical period, feelings, emotions, and understanding between young people are always complex and relevant themes.

Wright put much effort into Pride & Prejudice, his directorial debut. Notably, before reading the script, he was not familiar with the book (Gutoskey para. 3). In the film, he claims to reveal the complexity of romantic love and how it is influenced by people’s prejudices and pride, not allowing them to get closer. The topic is presented through the main characters’ relationships – when Lizzie and Darcy waive their pride, they become happy. Director’s courage to make changes to the original story contributed to the film’s success.

The film was able to achieve the goal set by the director and prove his thesis. The stylized and adapted movie shows an exciting love story and appeals to modern viewers (McGuire para. 11). At the same time, the film is convincing, as Wright was attentive to the choice of actors and selected a topic close to many people (Gutoskey para. 8-10). All events in the film are consistent and understandable to the audience, and the story has a logical structure. Additional strengths of the film are visual design and musical accompaniment. For example, frames often contain symmetry, adding aesthetics to the film. Enthusiasts of accurate adaptations of Austin may find weaknesses in the movie due to changes in the plot. However, the film is of interest to open interpretations admirers of the writer and those viewers who love romantic stories.

Thus, although a little different from Austin’s novel, the Pride & Prejudice movie of 2005 achieved the goal of attracting contemporary viewers. Director Wright changed the time setting of events, removed some minor characters, and made other amendments. He concentrated on the relationship between the main characters – Lizzie and Darcy, creating a complex and exciting love story. His careful work on the choice of actors and the stylization of the movie made his directorial debut outstanding and captivating for the audience who prefers romanticism.

Works Cited

Gutoskey, Ellen. “14 Facts About Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice.” Mental Floss, Web.

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Malyon, Rowan. “Pride and Prejudice (2005) – Film Review.” Review of Pride & Prejudice directed by Joe Wright. Flick Feast, Web.

McGuire, Kay. “Pride and Prejudice: The 2005 Movie’s Biggest Differences From The Book.” Screen Rant, Web.

Pride & Prejudice. Directed by Joe Wright, Universal Pictures, 2005.