Tag Archives: Jane Austen

Jane Austen Retold

[DISCLAIMER: I’m in no way a film critic nor do I aspire to be one. My reviews are solely the impressions I got from watching these films, which I probably liked because I like everything I watch with rare exceptions and I have a huge problem saying bad things about films. Especially Austen adaptations. I like ’em all. Well, I have issues with Laurence Olivier as Darcy but that’s for another post.]

[DISCLAIMER 2: This post is dedicated to @SalonJaneAusten, @lnkent, @margecavani and @Austen_in_Bath. Thanks for the support, girls!]

I’ve had the opportunity in the past month to watch two of the most recent Austen movie adaptations. Coincidentally, both films are more of a modern retelling of the novels than a direct adaptation.

Aisha cast (PVR Pictures)

Aisha (2010) is a modernized version of Emma with a Bollywood twist, much like Bride & Prejudice (2004) did with Lizzie & Darcy’s story. It’s an interesting approach, made more difficult by the fact that the best adaptation (in my opinion) of Emma is already a modern retelling: I’m obviously talking about Clueless, the 1995 film starring Alicia Silverstone.

So we have the lively, rich Aisha (Sonam Kapoor), a girl who is trying to become an event planner, who thinks that she can match all her friends, since she is responsible for matching her aunt to a Colonel. I admit I couldn’t follow some of the family relationships because I am not used to Indian costumes – if, like Brazilians, they tend to call Aunt and Uncle close family friends that are not necessarily related to them. Even more intriguing is her relationship to Arjun (Abhay Deol) – the Knightley to Aisha’s Emma -, who is her neighbor and her brother-in-law’s younger brother whom she introduces to the audience as her best friend and her worst enemy.

Like Bridget Jones borrows more from the 1995 mini-series of Pride & Prejudice, Aisha borrows directly from Clueless instead of going directly into the novel. This becomes problematic, for instance, because Aisha’s best friend Pinky  (Ira Dubey) – the couterpart to Clueless‘ Dionne – doesn’t exist in the novel, and needs to be dealt with. While in Clueless Dionne has boyfriend Murray and seems to accept Tai’s presence in their little clique quite well, Aisha’s focus on Shefali (Amrita Puri) puts a wedge between Aisha and Pinky, who feels left out. Also feeling left out is Randhir (Cyrus Sahukar) – a Mr. Elton-type wealthy boy who tries to fit in Aisha’s group of friends but ultimately gives up after being rejected by her. In an interesting twist, Pinky and Randhir bond over this rejection and eventually get together and the scene where Pinky breaks the news to Aisha is very similar to Lizzie finding out that Charlotte Lucas is going to marry Mr. Collins [see, people, Collins and Elton COULD be twins after all!].

The other problem comes from Aarti (Lisa Haydon), who works with Arjun and is clearly dating him although it is never explicit that their are together. Aisha is jealous of her from the start. She has the same function as Rebecca in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – that is to say, she is Louisa Musgrove trying to keep Cap. Wentworth and Anne Elliot apart. But since we know from the start whom Arjun will end up with, her character swiftly turns into Jane Fairfax and, after a party, she ends up with Dhruv (Arunoday Singh), this story’s Frank Churchill.

One thing in which this filme surprised me: Aisha’s reaction to finding out she is in love with Arjun is much more pro-active than, say, Emma’s or Cher’s. She does act weird around him at first, but finally she decides to go after him and tell how she feels – even if it fails miserably. It was interesting to see this sort of girl power moment, to be reminded a few scenes later of one of the Bollywood rules: no kissing (I know we have no kissing in Austen novels, and I know people don’t like when adaptations incorporate them, but it is unrealistic to expect that a modernization of one of the stories should skip such a fundamental part of relationships as we are used to, even more so in a film – the final kiss is, like, the most overused cliche ever. I mean, there’s drug use in this film, but NO KISSING!!!). Well, yay for girl power.

All in all, Aisha is a fun movie, with an upbeat soundtrack. I had some difficulties watching the filme because, unlike Bride & Prejudice, this one is not spoken solely in English, so there were parts that were hard to get even with subtitles.  It is not as good as Clueless, but I had fun, which is the most important thing.

Official Site

While visiting New York in the end of January, I got to see From Prada to Nada (2011) in the teather. God knows how long will it take to get to Brazil – if it gets here. So I could not waste the opportunity to see the film while there. I knew by their massive Twitter campaign that it was a Sense & Sensibility adaptation with a Latina twist.

What I got from From Prada To Nada is that it is not so much an adaptation but a story vaguely based on Sense & Sensibility. You can easily identify the Dashwood sisters in Mary (Alexa Vega) and Nora (Camilla Belle) Dominguez. Their sister-in-law Olivia (April Bowlby) is as empathetic as Fanny Dashwood, but her brother Edward Ferris (Nicholas D’Agosto) is (at least to my taste) a bit more assertive than Mr. Ferrars. Other characters are mashed into one (like Aunt Aurelia being both Mrs. Jennings and Sir John Middleton) or visually deceptive (it took me a long time to realize that Wilmer Valderrama’s Bruno was supposed to be Col. Brandon and not Willoughby).

That in itself is not a problem for me. The issues I had were with the plot: while the struggles of the Dominguez sisters to adapt not only to a new life but to a whole new heritage their father preserved but never passed on was really well done, a few storylines were left unresolved or so rushed that I couldn’t understand if I got them right: it is never explained why Rodrigo (Kuno Becker) would have lied to Mary about his trip to Mexico (or, if it is, it was so rushed that I missed it). Also, the newly discovered brother Gabriel makes a huge life-changing decision after reading the letters their father left for him, which Mary gives him in the engagement party. However, we are never shown what was in those letters that affected him so much to the point of doing what he does after – in fact, he barely speaks, so it is hard to know what he feels or thinks.

Another thing that bothered me is the characterization of Nora: Elinor was sensible and pratical, but not dull. She is as pretty as Marianne, although not as outspoken. But here, while Mary is fun, popular and well-dressed (although Alexa Vega is borderline incorporating Lindsay Lohan in this role), Nora dresses like a matron and focuses on her professional life for reasons that are not at all clear. So, in a way, I can see why this time Edward had to be more energetic, but it still bothered me that Nora would only let go of her “issues” while drunk at her Aunt’s party.

I know Adam Spunberg didn’t like the film as much as I did and I do agree with him in some points (mostly that Wilmer Valderrama was definitely the best thing in the film, if such thing is possible), but since it was a Sunday ight in New York and I was looking to have a fun night with my sister, I let go of most plotholes and enjoyed.  [Funny story, the following night I met Adam 🙂 ].

Official site

[Cross posted at Meet Jane Austen]

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Filed under Jane Austen Overdose, Refém do Sofá

Jane Austen Overdose

So I had this crazy idea: to watch again all my Austen related movies and series, and live blog my experience. Ideally, I’d do that chronologically starting with the 1940 Pride & Prejudice, but after a rather entertaining discussion on Twitter,I promised @SalonJaneAusten and @Austen_in_Bath I’d start with the 1996 ITV production of Emma, starring Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong. This is not my favorite Emma, mostly because Strong’s hair is quite distracting (and because Jonny Lee Miller can never do wrong in my eyes).

So, if you want to “watch” Emma with me, Click Here! Comments are enabled, so you can join in whenever you like.

[Update]

Should I do another live-blogging? If so, which movie/series should I blog about?

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This is me

i feel like john hughes and jane austen are hanging out together in the afterlife, gleefully cackling over all of the ridiculously high romantic expectations they’ve created.

These words by Poshdeluxe at Forever Young Adult basically describe my life.

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Eurotrip Day 3 – EU FUI NO JANE AUSTEN CENTRE! EU FUI NO JANE AUSTEN CENTRE!

First things first: hoje foi meu primeiro dia de aula. Além de três dos brasileiros (Clara, Vicente e Monique, coincidentemente os três com quem eu já tinha conversado um pouco), sou colega da Fiona (Taiwan), Anne Sophie (Dinamarca) e uma coreana cujo nome eu não consigo me lembrar. Mas as meninas são bem legais e a Fiona ficou toda impressionada porque existe gente que escuta c-pop no Brasil, hahahaha.

A Natalia me trocou por uma suíça, então acabei passando a maior parte do dia com a Anne Sophie. Depois da aula, eu comecei a usar a internet, mas o grupo de POA estava saindo pro Jane Austen Centre, e o Vicente, a Monique e a Clara queriam que eu fosse, mas eu meio que já tinha combinado de ver Twilight com a Anne Sophie e a Fiona. No fim, eu obviamente não me agüentei e fui com os brasileiros.

O Jane Austen Centre fica na Gay Street, a mesma rua onde a Jane Austen morou com a mãe e a irmã um pouco depois de perder o pai. Descobri que ela morou em várias outras casas em Bath, incluindo no 4 Sydney Gardens, por onde eu passo todo dia de manhã! 🙂

Os pirralhos correram pra ver toda a exposição, então não consegui prestar muita atenção nas coisas. A mostra se concentra na relação da Jane Austen com Bath, não só durante o tempo em que ela morou aqui, como na forma como ela apresenta a cidade através dos romances (especialmente Northanger Abbey e Persuasion). São mostradas reproduções de cartas, jornais e livros da época, com vários displays com reproduções de roupas, salas, jogos de carta, instrumentos utilizados, etc. Num determinado momento, se entra em uma pequena sala de projeção, onde fica passando um filme em looping a cada 15 minutos. O filme tem mais ou menos 12 minutos, e é apresentado pela Amanda Root (a Anne do Persuasion de 1995). Ela fala sobre a relação da Jane Austen com Bath, e de como essa relação é apresentada nos livros.

No final, existe uma sala com os figurinos originais de Miss Austen Regrets. O tour obviamente termina numa gift shop, onde os pirralhos compraram mesmo sem saber de quem se tratava. Eu tentei explicar algumas coisas (pra alguns interessados, como a Clara, eu indiquei livros) e obviamente conversei com as senhoras responsáveis pelo centro. Elas ficaram bem felizes que gente de tão longe foi até lá, e ficaram com pena de mim por ter que agüentar os pirralhos, tanto que me deixaram entrar de novo na exposição (a primeira vez eu quase não vi nada porque os pirralhos não gostaram muito e saíram em menos de 10 minutos).

Na segunda vez eu consegui ler todos os displays, prestar atenção nos detalhes, conhecer mais detalhes sobre coisas que eu só sabia superficialmente. Em termos de tamanho, não é uma grande exibição, mas é bem interessante em função dos detalhes apresentados. Nos finais de semana, existe um tour a pé que sai do Centro de Turismo em frente à Abadia e passa por todos os lugares onde a Jane Austen morou, ou se inspirou para escrever, ou onde foram filmadas cenas de filmes e séries baseados na obra dela. Acho que vou fazer isso nesse sábado, porque vai ser um bom complemento para a experiência de hoje.

Não fiquei muito tempo na loja da segunda vez porque 1) eu não posso comprar! eu não posso comprar! (isso obviamente não vai durar muito tempo, mas o quanto mais eu conseguir me segurar, melhor) e 2) ainda dava tempo de ver o filme com as meninas, então eu voltei pra escola. Vimos Twilight e, no começo, era só mulherada. Lá pelas tantas, o Juanjo apareceu e ficou até o final, honrando o gênero. No almoço, eu tinha discutido sobre o filme com a Anne Sophie e a Monique. Elas gostaram do primeiro filme, e eu fique toda “Hello? Cara de sofrimento? MACACOARANHA?”. Mas assim que terminou o filme, a Anne Sophie me deu razão e só dizia “mas eu lembro que quando eu vi da primeira vez era melhor…”.

A gente meio que tinha combinado de ir no teatro amanhã, mas eu esqueci de dar dinheiro pra Penny tentar comprar ingresso. Eu lembrei de pedir pra Penny procurar ingresso pro jogo de rugby, e quando eu contei pra Rachel, ela disse que o Mark tem season tickets e provavelmente vai. Pelo menos vai ser legal ter com quem falar sobre esportes, mesmo que eu vá ver ele no máximo meia vez por semana.

Aliás, conversei bastante com a Rachel hoje à noite, o que foi legal. De manhã ela estava meio estressada, então não sei se ela descontou em mim ou coisa assim. Amanhã vou esperar ela sair pra fazer o que eu tenho que fazer, porque daí vai ser mais tranqüilo. Pelo menos a Abby, a gata, me ama, porque passou a manhã se trançando nas minhas pernas.

Como ontem, são recém 8h da noite e eu estou morrendo de sono. Já fiz meu homework (era só ler um artigo), mas acho que vou ver alguns seriados antes de dormir. Não sei o que fazer quando acabarem os episódios que eu trouxe (mentira! eu sei: eu trouxe meu diretório de livros, hahaha).

Vou ter que levar o computador para a escola amanhã, então provavelmente vou postar tudo o que está faltando. Talvez não as fotos (ainda são poucas), mas pelo menos isso aqui não vai ficar deserto.

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