I must keep in good health and not die: on the sheer boringness of “Jane Eyre”
I wanted to see “Jane Eyre” since I first saw its preview last winter. Unfortunately, Orion adamantly refused, having read and hated the book in high school. We finally got to see it this week, and by the time the movie was over, Orion was singing its praises while I was so bored I could barely rouse myself from the theatre seats. Go figure. (I remember my roommate being assigned “Wuthering Heights” in high school, written by a different Bronte sister, Emily. I picked up the book and read the whole thing, regarding it as the funniest things I had ever read. I began reading Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” but couldn’t get through the first chapter.) But the movie looked good, and I especially liked the slight tinge of mysterious, dark, gothic elements. There are hints of the supernatural, of secrets being kept, and of haunting ghosts – these felt surprisingly in an otherwise period piece, but were well received by our audience.
I’m not exactly sure why this movie was so boring, and I’m not exactly sure why I disliked Jane Eyre so much. She was great at first, being strong but reserved, fierce but quiet, but then she had to go and FALL IN LOVE. I couldn’t get into her after that. She seemed so strong for the beginning of the movie, so plucky despite her misfortunes – I just couldn’t forgive her for falling in love with the first man she met. It was almost as bad as Grushenka’s change of heart in The Brothers Karamazov. I don’t know if the book handled this in a convincing manner, but the movie certainly didn’t. There were barely five conversations before Rochester declares outright to Jane, “You rare, unearthly thing, I must have you!” (I later misremembered him as saying, “You weird, unusual creature!” That’s just the vibe I get from Michael Fassbender’s Rochester.)
Speaking of the actors, Mia Wasikowska was wonderfully plain, which I felt fit Jane Eyre very well. I guess it wasn’t her fault the story/movie took a turn for the worse. Judi Dench plays a supporting character, Mrs. Fairfax the housekeeper, and I just couldn’t get over how miscast this felt. I thought Dench was far too strong an actress to be written into this old woman’s personality. As for Rochester, like I said earlier, I thought Fassbender was just strange.
Overall, 1.5/5. This was seriously the lamest movie I’ve seen this year. I’m sorry for the terribly boring review, but really, I didn’t feel like the movie had any material for me to work with. Orion claims this is because I am immature, but I think some movies just aren’t to my tastes.