Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jane Eyre: Book vs. Movie and a Lesson

My blog isn't just about beauty. I'm a nerd that just happens to love makeup, but I truly love to read more. I found an old blog that I wrote only three posts in in 2011, and enjoyed reading up on my old posts, especially the one about Jane Eyre - the book vs. the movie - and the lesson I learned from both. Jane Eyre is my all time favourite book... ever. I've read it more than any other book. It encompasses everything I adore (including England... ;)). So, I thought I'd do an "encore" (isn't that the fancy word TV networks use for rerun?) post. Let me know your thoughts!

Book versus movie

I love to go to the movies, mostly GOOD movies – serious, historical, dramatic. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good chick flick, but I truly value a classic. I’m here to make some observations about the movie I saw last night: Jane Eyre. It was fantastic, really awesome. I truly enjoyed it, and I even re-read the book again a month ago for the release of this very movie. (Have I ever said how very much I love to read?) I really enjoyed those two hours spent watching the plot unfold before me for about the 5th time in my life. However, I did have a slightly unsettled feeling every time the movie cut a corner to save on time or tweaked the plot to serve the director’s purpose. I know many people do not care whether movies take liberties with the original text, and that is fine! However, I do. I am not sure why, but I am pretty passionate about it being veritable to the original author’s designs, especially when that author is Charlotte Bronte. Thus, I wanted to lean over to my poor friend throughout the film, who probably did not care about each detail of the text, and explain to her why (in my opinion) something was so important, why an emotion should have been better portrayed, etc.
At one point in the movie, like in many I view, I had to use the restroom. Always happens. You are probably thinking, Then just go to the restroom before. I did. Anyhow, as I walked (well, kind of sprinted) to the restroom, I wondered why it was I so thoroughly enjoy every minute I spend reading a plot unfold, understanding the character development, grasping the underlying emotions, and why the cinematic version leaves me wanting EVERY (and I mean every) TIME. First I thought, Does it really matter, Tara? You like to read. That’s all. But, I really am not sure that’s it. Here is the small lesson I felt I learned from my reflections. It had to do with relationship, naturally.
In relationship, you have the choice to be the friend or spouse that only has time, energy, patience for the 110 minute or 72 hour version of your counterpart’s life, hopes, fears, dreams, needs, etc. Many, especially in our fast-paced, exigent society, opt for the former. We do not have the time to truly sit and hear the laying out of past, present and future. We do not give room for nuance, back-story or surrounding circumstance. We want to “just get to the point, already.” The lesson I learned, though, is when I approach relationship in that manner, as a movie, I want to see a little of the bad, a lot of the good and a nicely wrapped-up ending. I do not give room for the rest. The rest is what makes a story rich in the telling; it is what causes the audience to sympathize with the antagonist while finding frustration for the flaws in the protagonist. It makes the story genuine, authentic and believable. When you learn the story with “all the rest” in it, there is no room for embellishment or salesmanship. It is what it is, and therein lies the beauty. We are to love unconditionally – flaws and all – but how can we when we will not invest the initial time to truly know someone?
Am I saying a movie is always inadequate? No, not necessarily. But until you read the book, you won’t know what you are misssing, will you?

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