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|Here I am my dear!
Written by Deborah d'Bajor
(11/1/2005 9:51 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Deborah d' Bajor, where are you?? ;-), penned by Reeba
P1 is the earliest of the 1 adaptations I think. It was actually made by Granada, one of the ITV companies, but the BBC bought the rights when they wanted to release a Jane Austen video box set. I suppose it is surprising that the BBC hadn't done a version of their own , at least between 1970-ish and 1995! Maybe they can make up for this in the near future... hint, hint!
I suppose some of the adaptation difficulties are that it's quite an internal story. An intesting analysis would be to see which of the books we spend most time inside the heroines head! Someone has already mentioned Anne not being allowed to speak and her voice being silenced. That's more difficult on screen with your main protagonist - you don't really want them soliliquising all the time!
P2 was a made for TV film, although there was a limited release in cinemas, I understand. The disadvantage was the condensing of the story, particularly the complete change in Mr Elliot's motivations - it doesn't make sense the way it is, and I can't see why they couldn't have done it as written even if it was shortened. Fortunately it wasn't a Hollywood film! No offence, but there is a tendancy to dumb down a bit as they are trying for a more general appeal. P2 was really made more for us than for a more general audience. I'm not sure how clear Anne's back story was if you didn't already know the story. I didn't think it was that clear myself. Wonder if I can persuade the Caro Sposo to assist with that one...? ;-)
Now I do like P2 - the only hugely discordant note is the portrayal of Elizabeth - not that I blame the actress. And of course I was very impressed with the performace of the geese - I'm still convinced they have their own acting Union...
I'm not ashamed to admit that I prefer P1. However the first time I saw it I did have some difficulty getting past the costumes and hair dos! It's worth persevering though - I've grown rather fond of that green plaid....
A longer adaptation meant that more of the story could be included. Still a shame we didn't have the Litte Charles accident/Little Walter on the back stuff. Still, thinking about it maybe they thought it wouldn't do much good to Charles Hayter? We probably get to know less about him than in the book, because it's not that important to know it all as it doesn't much forward the plot. I liked the inlusion of the Poor Richard stuff! And the Crofts - great relationship! I love where Lady R and Anne visit them at Kellynch - the mirrors!! LOL! Louisa is perhaps a weak spot, but I didn't mind her so much this time and there's so much to like that I can forgive it - it's more in character at least than P2's Elizabeth.
At the end I even feel a tiny bit sorry for Elizabeth! Lady R is more sympathetic and less manipulative. Mr Elliot could quite take you in, Charles and Mary are good and have a believable relationship. She's a terrible snob, but she has her nice moments. Henrietta and C Hayter were very sweet. And Mrs Clay is very insinuating and handsome enough that you could believe the danger of Sir Walter marrying her - she's much too plain in P2 - IMNSHO, of course ;-)
And of course I like Anne and Wentworth of course! I love all the end reconcilliation scenes - I go all warm and fuzzy inside! One of my very favourite bits is where CW meets Charles taking Anne home and starts explaining about the gunsmith and Anne and CW are just gazing at each other - it's so funny!
Gosh, what a long review! I hope I've managed to persuade some of you! If not I might mutate into Lady Catherine adn come and scold you all!!
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