Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright, 2005)

My problem with these literary period piece films is the way in which so many of them follow the same rhythms and beats. And that’s a problem that could be easily remedied with a more astute writer or director. Take Bright Star for example – the film takes the “Keats” biography and morphs it into an incredibly romantic exercise in longing. However, Pride and Prejudice does not take its time developing its core relationships, but instead thrusts characters quickly into romance, and then places obstacles before them. There’s no slow burn, but instead a gaudy production with characters that represent ideas rather than people. The shy and misunderstood man, the sexually repressed woman, the intrusive mother, etc – the characters do not escape the confines of these definitions, and remain stagnant throughout the whole picture.

I will say, I was impressed with Roman Osin’s sense of visual space, though ultimately, Joe Wright steps over what could be a truly elegant piece of visual filmmaking. His style reminded me of Christopher Nolan’s directorial presence – continuous spirals and swirling around characters. Yet with Nolan, at least there’s a case to be made – he shoots actions films and uses the technique to engross you within the chaos. With Wright, his application of the technique puzzles me.