Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pride and Prejudice

An Spailpín notes with interest that the trailer for the new Keira Knightley vehicle, Pride and Prejudice, is now available online. Notwithstanding the fact the only correct vehicle for the sublime Miss Knightley is that nine year old cherry-red and slightly dinged Toyota Corolla registered in the name of An Spailpín Fánach himself, the trailer makes for disheartening viewing.

It is important to realise that the trailer of any movie is a product not of the film-makers, but of the Morketing Deportment of the film-makers. Even allowing for that fell taint, this trailer is a depressing business. That husky voiced guy is doing his "in an age...." schtick, there's baroque music all over the shop and Brenda Blethyn, the inevitable Dame Judi and honorary Tan Donald Sutherland are thesping all over the shop.

The cinematography is rather lush and beautiful too, somewhat at odds with my memory of the book Pride and Prejudice itself, where it seemed to rain more often than it does in Galway and, as any meteorologist can tell you, it rains a Hell of a lot in Galway. I also recall the Bennett girls tramping through the mud on the number of occasions, which I don't think Miss Knightley's heavenly little booties will be going next, nigh or near for the hundred minutes or so this thing is going to drag on. It's interesting also, with Colin Firth so bright in the collective female consciousness as the definitive Fitzwilliam Darcy, that the producers of this new movie have seen fit to cast some Jimmy Durante lookalike as the main love interest. Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

If An Spailpín Fánach were some sort of bottom-line show-me-the-money huckster instead of the sensitive artist he is, he'd be inclined to think that the lads got together to make a few pounds for themselves in the US market selling that peculiar version of England that only exists in the American popular consciousness, as they did for that awful Wimbledon movie. It'd certainly explain old schnozz elbowing Firth out of the way, as they don't know Colin Firth from Colin Farrell in the States. And more power to them, although I do find it slightly distressing myself that they feel this continual need to update Austen for every generation. The trailer voice-over describes Elizabeth Bennett as a "thoroughly modern woman," even though an even vaguely modern woman who pitched up in Restoration England would in the ducking stool by the elevenses.

I never understood the appeal of Austen, myself. I can see she was good, but I don't see how she was great. Still, each to their own. More crumpet, Lord Marmaduke?