Pride and Prejudice (1995 BBC Series)
Call me ‘old school’. This is the only adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel that works for me. Set in 1812 (at the beginning of the War of 1812-14), it tells the tale of a family of five English daughters who set their sights on eligible (and handsome) bachelors when it comes time to make their way in the world.
Elizabeth Bennett is a strong-willed yet sensible young woman whose father is a gentleman with a quite modest estate and whose uncle suffers in status from being a businessman in Cheapside. She has four sisters, a long-suffering but loving father, and a mother anxious to marry them to wealthy young gentlemen. At a local ball, she encounters one such wealthy young man, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy — and as Mr. Darcy is arrogant, cold and rude, it is hatred at first sight. As her older sister Jane falls in love with Mr. Darcy’s best friend Mr. Bingley, and her youngest sister Lydia flirts with anyone in a military uniform, Lizzie finds herself fighting off the attentions of the unctuous Mr. Collins and quite taken by the charming Mr. Wickham – who also happens to be an enemy of Mr. Darcy. However, as the characters succumb in many ways to pride and prejudice, Lizzie learns that not all is quite as it seems…and that Mr. Darcy might not be so disagreeable after all. (plot summary from IMDb)
As with most stories, this one has its ups and downs, its intrigue, and its frustrations. In other words it is very much like real life, even now. But there’s no denying the attraction (and attractiveness) of Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.
And the camera liked them, too.
Strangely enough, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle shared another moment on screen in the film “The King’s Speech”.
That spark was still there.
And like all good fairy tales, they lived happily ever after.