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Prides and Prejudices

Vol rented the 1995 miniseries Pride and Prejudice starring naughty boy Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and lovely Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet. I took the DVDs, meaning to watch only a segment and ended up watching the whole 5 bloody hour thing.

Pride and Prejudice

The miniseries is excellent, though in different ways than the 2005 movie. My comparison of key points:

  • Story: 1995. 1995 version is twice as long as 2005, thereby giving you twice the exhilaration. The 2005 version is a faithful adaptation of the book but without a full exploration of secondary character nuances.
  • Script: Tie. Both are excellent.
  • Cinematography: 2005. 2005 is so pretty it brings tears to my eyes. 1995 is messier in terms of lighting and set decoration.
  • Editing: 2005. It so wonderfully flows. 1995 has a disadvantage because it was made for TV and had to take into consideration commercial breaks and re-engaging the viewer into the story line with stupid mechanisms like flashbacks.
  • Costumes: 2005. 1995 won an Emmy for costume design. 2005 was nominated for an Academy Award for costume design. The costumes in 2005 are understated yet exquisite and better interact with the settings while enhancing character appeal.
  • Soundtrack: 2005. The 2005 soundtrack is a bit more melancholy and haunting as compared to 1995 which veered into broad comedy territory.
  • Elizabeth Bennet: 2005. Both Keira Knightly and Jennifer Ehle are excellent in the roles, however I found Ehle’s excessive smiling to be a disadvantage. Knightly more proficiently explores the unappealing aspects of her character.
  • Jane Bennet: 2005. I had a hard time believing Susanna Harker was the most beautiful of the Bennet sisters, much less the area. She is a bit pallid, where as Rosamund Pike is fresh.
  • Mr. Darcy: 1995. Colin Firth plays the role with a bit more spunk. Mathhew Mcfayden imagined Darcy as a characteristically morose where as Firth creates moroseness based on circumstance. I find Mcfayden hotter than Firth but as Darcy, Firth comes out ahead.
  • Mr. Bingly: 2005. Simon Woods has a better hairstyle and more chemistry with Jane Bennet than in the 1995 version.
  • Mrs. Bennet: Tie. They’re both kooky and irritating.
  • Mr. Bennet: 1995. Because the miniseries covers supporting characters so well, 1995 Mr. Bennet’s faults are more fleshed out. Donald Sutherland is great in the 2005 film, though without a full exploration of his character, he comes off as a real space cadet.
  • Charlotte Lucas: 2005. 1995’s version depresses me.
  • Mr. Wickham: 1995. His chemistry is better with Elizabeth as he gets more screen time than in 2005.
  • Mr. Collins: 1995. He’s got better scenes.
  • Lydia Bennet: 2005. Jenna Malone plays the character with a sublime naivete whereas in 1995, Lydia is a broad ridiculous fop.
  • Kitty Bennet: 1995. Again, a depth issue. She also has great interactions with Mr. Bennet.
  • Mary Bennet: 2005. In 1995 she is extremely annoying.
  • Lady Catherine de Bourg: 2005. Judi Dench works it and is powerfully cruel to the point of being scary.

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