Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pride cometh before Fall(ing in love)

For ages I believed that the only reputable actor from Her Majesty’s Empire is Sir Anthony Hopkins; that was until I saw the BBC production of “Pride and Prejudice”.
Ever since I first laid my eyes on the abridged version of the book as an 11 year old I have been wistfully in love with Mr. Darcy – the quintessential man. Contrary to popular belief that women tend to like humble men I always fell for conceited wise ones. Who am I to argue with the sound logic of Howard Roark – “To say I love you, one must first know how to say ‘I’”?

I was completely elated when I found the Pride & Prejudice movie in our local public library and spent the better part of the past few days staring longingly at Colin Firth. I can’t think of a better man suited to play Darcy. He emoted more with his eyes than with his face and that made all the difference.

The way he looks across the room at Lizzy during the Netherfield Ball; the manner in which he professes his love and his reaction to her rejection; his polite conversation to Lizzy at Pemberly grounds and that one scene at Pemberly where he looks at Lizzy playing the piano with just a slight hint of a smile on his lips but a truckload of happiness in his eyes…sigh it’s hard to NOT fall in love with Darcy or Colin Firth for that matter.

However, Jennifer Ehle who played the role of Elizabeth Bennett left me wanting for more. She does have ‘fine eyes’ as Mr. Darcy says but somehow hers was not the face I had in mind when I read the book. (It’s a different matter altogether that most times it was mine!). There was something about her mouth; it was as if she would break into a fit of giggles anytime and she was trying her best to stop it. She was great in parts and sadly the sum of the parts did not add up to much.

I’ve spent much of my teen years trying to figure out the enigma that is Mr. Darcy but naught came of such a research. How could one explain such blind devotion to a man who just does not exist on earth? A man very proud yet endowed with all the traits befitting a gentleman? A lover keen to change his ways for the woman of his life? A friend willing to accept his mistakes and apologize? Damn Jane Austen! My life was much easier to handle when I knew there is no Darcy but it is tough to accept the fact that there can never be a Darcy.

Sigh…let me drown myself in another wistful viewing of P&P and whilst I do so, you can find pleasure in the following poem.

Once A Great Love
- Yehuda Amichai

Once a great love cut my life in two.
The first part goes on twisting
at some other place like a snake cut in two.

The passing years have calmed me
and brought healing to my heart and rest to my eyes.

And I'm like someone standing in the Judean desert, looking at a sign:
"Sea Level"
He cannot see the sea, but he knows.

Thus I remember your face everywhere
at your "face Level."

Update: Thanks to Balaji, i did some googling and the new P&P is far from enriching. Firstly Matthew Whatsisname accepted the role of Darcy without having read the book earlier(Blasphemous act) and secondly Keira is anything but Lizzy and thirdly click here if you want to see "An opinionated young woman and an arrogant, aristocrat overcome their initial antipathy and various other social obstacles to fall in love".


Blogger Balaji said...

Did u know there's a new version of P&P coming out? Its playing at the toronto film festival right now. it has keira knightley(the beauty from 'bend it like beckham' and 'pirates of the caribbean') as elizabeth bennett and some guy called Matthew Macfayden as darcy.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Primalsoup said...

Thank god for Darcy, Rhett Butler, Heathcliff and Holden Caulfield. Reassures faith in mankind - so what if they are all fictional! And so what, if they are all fictional! I don't think men are as enamoured by Scarlett, Ms Bennet and blah - don't blame them! :)

And Colin Firth was Darcy allright. In fact, he is Darcy even in Bridget Jones! Which might explain why so many women related to BJ then, it wasn't her, but it was the Darcy Dream! :)

And someone who didn't read the book and is paid money to portray Darcy must be nuked.

Good post Kumari!

11:15 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

life hasnt changed much from the 18th century Victorian days of Austen,
girls still long for Darcys in their lives.

my personal favorite Austen book is 'Sense and Sensibility' which I thot was beautifully captured on screen as well.

2:37 AM  
Blogger PS said...

Great post, the poem was pretty good too.

2:54 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@Soups: Haven't seen BJD yet. And i am all for the nuking idea. Did u see the said trailer? It's as if Yash Chopra directed it. They are drenched in rain when he proposes to Lizzy :( Matthew is not Colin to be seen in soggy shirts :)
And glad i made you proud, Ms. Smuggie :D

@Swathi: Girls will always long for Darcy coz he doesn't exist :)

@PS: Thank you :)

9:52 AM  
Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

very nice post. P&P is still my fav Jane Austen book and primarily because of the Darcy connection. Gosh don't you wish there was one?

11:12 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@M(TSU): Thanks. Oh yes i do...i do :)

8:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home