After weeks of haitus, Bee and I finally found a movie worth watching. Jane Eyre has garnered quite good reviews and yet we decided to take a chance to go down to Lido on a Friday night, hoping for good seats as we felt no one would watch this movie, adpated from classic by Charlotte Bronte. We were wrong and ended up in the first row. By the end of the show, I had a neck strain.
I’ve never read the original book, only the abridge version but I saw practically all the movies and Tv series that were made of this story. Still, I had some confusion prior to watching the movie between this story, and that of Wuthering Heights (by Emily Bronte) and Rebecca (by Daphne du Maurier). All of them are dark, with romances clad in mystery and a first wife hiding somewhere.
Jane Eyre is an unloved ophan sent to the widow of an Uncle. Her insolence towards her relatives gives us a hint at how she has been mistreated. When asked if she knew where the wicked goes upon death and what she must do to avoid going there (to hell), she replies, ‘I must ensure that I am healthy and don’t die.’ Thus, we are introduce to Jane Eyre, fearless and witty.
The movie is a series of flashbacks from Jane’s childhood, her youth, and her time as a governess until the present, where she is teaching in a secluded village. After leaving her aunt, she is sent to a girl’s school where the girls are ill-treated into behaving. Upon leaving the school, she goes to Thornfield House to work as a governess to a French Ward of a Mr Rochester.
Jane finds solace in Thornfield House but the house is creepy at night with unusual sounds. Other than the moans and groans of an old house, there is strange footsteps and woman’s laughter.
Mr Rochester is clearly attracted to the plain Jane for her ‘direct gaze’ and her outspokenness. He tells her, ‘You’re neither pretty to my handsome…’ but they think alike. He proposes to her and as they are about to get married, they are stopped for Mr Rochester is already married .
The insane Mrs Rochester is kept locked up and escapes sometimes in the night, Devastated, Jane runs away and is taken in by a kind family of three siblings. They find her a job at a secluded village school. (Actually, every place is secluded during those times). Jane settles there until one day she learns that an uncle has passed on and left her an inheritance. She is rich.
She leaves the village and returns to Thornfield House but finds the house burnt. Where is Mr Rochester? Will they live happily ever after? I’ll try not to have a spoiler here but this is a classic and everyone should have read the book and know the ending by now.
This story, though set in nineteen century England, is not unlike any modern day Korean drama, where a tortured little girl grows up and falls in love with a man, not knowing that he is already married to an insane woman. Like the Koreans, even in love, she calls him Mr Rochester or Sir, and never any endearments. Their passion is restrained, and we feel their attraction through their shy gazes upon each other.
Perhaps now I should attempt to read the book.