– ‚I mustn’t ever be found.’
Imagination, solitude and withdrawal into oneself usually introduce us to the tragic figure’s state of mind. Sometimes, however, we cannot even be sure whom to assign the tragic element of the particular story.
Jane Eyre is based on the novel by Charlotte Brontë and is only one of many film adaptations. This one stars Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester. I have been told several times by a friend to read the novel, apparently its essential in English literature and a wonderful story. I never read the book. So it was time to see a film adaptation. This particular version has been recommended to me.
Jane’s story is a story of humiliation, violence and neglect. But it is also a story that shows intelligence, respect and trust.
Living with relatives as a burden, she takes the first step into her captivity within herself. She goes to boarding school, gets beaten up and looks in the eyes of a friend’s death. She later refers to this as the finest education she could have thought of. Eventually she becomes the governess in Mr. Rochester’s house. When the pair first engage in a longer conversation, it sets the stage for a mysterious tale entwined with one of pure love.
Both characters have an emotional shield. Mr. Rochester’s cold appearance and Jane’s distant, yet determined gaze. There are other characters supporting the story; but really, all you are meant to care for in this movie are the Sir and his governess.
At some point they drop their shields for each other and there is no one but them. Still, there is the mystery which becomes the final disruption of Jane Eyre. We cannot be sure if she recovers but she finds her way back into the pure love story, leaving the mystery spot behind.
After all, this film shows a detail for the beautiful scenery -but it fails to capture the beautiful of the love story. It points out the mystery – but it fails to evoke the desire to explore why it is omnipresent. It needs a certain passion for the subject in order to fully engage with this film. You either want them to live happily after or you don’t bother at all. Personally, I cannot say that I do bother.
Do you think you would? It might just be this film adaptation that would set you off; because if I was writing about the best novels of all time Jane Eyre would be perfectly placed here.