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Friday, November 25, 2011

This is the age of plastic beauty!

Maybe I am wrong to teach my students the regular good stuff: story should be climatic, emotions should drive the story.

But then again you see Jane Eyre 2011 and realize that it's enough to come from Sundance festival (and probably the previous movie was quite good too) and all is forgiven even the fact that, for the first time in my life... I dislike Jane Eyre as a character!

This concept came to me when I saw this picture. Quite frankly I don't know the lady to the right but the first thinking is... how comes her eyebrows don't move? Turns out that without makeup you see a lot of things that don't move. So here's the thing... the lady to the left will decompose after that and while living she might look like a mummy, but the one to the right she already underwent mummification process and will not become worm food. Worms are picky.

In the past few years the worrisome trend of appreciating artificial beauty hollowed out of any meaning has increased enormously. I thought we had gone beyond that but, let' face it, it's worse than ever.

You see actresses with the Judith syndrome winning and oscar... and she kept the same expression throughout the movie.
And more and more actresses are going the same direction... they should try different looks... I don't know: tiger, blue steal? XDD

Now this dude, the director of the movie, start in quite an interesting way: the part nobody ever wants to use when making a movie because there's St. John who tries the most impossible, ridiculous excuses to marry Jane because his horny XD (sorry, it's a joke).
Then it goes in small bits into flashbacks who increase in length gradually until a big jump, woaaah, the last flashback is veeery long... and I kinda longed to go back and see Jane at present times. But no...

Now, acting wise... these two as a couple are just as believable as a set of lego toys in a stop motion film (no, wait, I had lego toys move me to tears).

How do they fall in love? Beats me. It seems like he is trying to make a point of this situation like: I have decided I shall fall in love and marry the girl I spoke to twice and gave me the Bluesteal face!

She is barely there, it's not her decision to make, she is swept away somehow... in words she might state interest but everything else is totally disgusted.

To the point that in the first kissing scene she rushes to kiss him with a facial expression that is all: alright, let's do it, let's get it over with, we finish the scene and that's it.
So awkward... the director tried to simulate a moment of sexual tension very much based on the silly and most useless scene from the Price and Prejudice movie (yeah, because we all knew back then that Lizzie was insane and wanted to bloody kiss a mane she freaking hated).

You know... you can build erotic tension with hands skimming and a girl that doesn't look at you with the same intensity that she would use to stare at a steak. (wait, she might have felt something for the steak).

So she digs her hands in his shoulder, cringes, stiffens, gives kisses with tight sealed lips and looks like she is about to barf any moment.

And when they break up... ooooh, the meaningful 20 seconds spent on a match that needs to lit the straw... because dreams burned away like fire on straw... and.... mhhh... actually, quite the uninteresting shot, not so nicely composed... so why? Make it better if is a freaking metaphor! Use a secondary light source.
It's flat!

And the finesse... Jane has a dream and hence to give you an uncomfortable feeling the allocated space for the character is shifted... hence we cross the line too.

No, it is not a reverse shot... I see all the freaking 4 wall of the freaking cottage in the same scene and suddenly I am not in that room anymore.
I am not the voyeur anymore. I am not intruding on their privacy, I am not a spectator nor a bystander I am simply trying to figure out where the Hell is everybody going and why.

Oh, and awkward kissing again. For being two people that really don't love each other, because I totally did not see them fall in love, they kiss a lot and she truuuuuly does not like it.

Then the rushed ending... she send St. John to die horny and alone in India, hears the voice (like in the book) and teleport herself to he beloved side only to find out that the accident has left him bling but pretty, nor mutilates... but dame Judy Dench said he was eaten up by flames or something like that (devoured? Anyway, he was wrapped in flames like the frigging human torch from the fantastic 4).

No, he might look like Giuseppe Verdi and Garibaldi but he is still pretty and wears blind contacts now.

And again in 3 seconds they reconcile and kiss a lot and at this point poor Jane cannot take it anymore: oooh the horror of kissing his beard!!!

See her cringe.
Seal the lips: thou shalt not paaaaass!

Pull away... and put on the Magnum expression!!!!!

these are taken quite many seconds apart... and here she is thinking: wait, did I put the pot on the stove? Yes, yes I did...
what shall I cook for dessert, maybe we should order in, yes yes...

It is so painful the director has to flip the shot, yes, he might pretend it's a reverse shot but... truth be told, we are again on the other side of the line freaking wonder: where the Hell are we? Is the Enterprise still orbiting around the planet?

It's a mild consolation but his face cover hers.... and the movie ends like this....

And for the first time in my life I though: I dislike Jane Eyre, she is not strong nor appealing, she yells "get up, get out of bed" with the strength, panic and determination of a bean casserole steaming on the fire "pwet pwet pwet" and then you read comments from the critics and rotten tomatoes and realize: people is really getting used to this crap. They don't remember that there is better out there, that there was better out there.

They give 4/5 stars but their comments are like: it wasn't better than any other adaptation.
Then why give 5 stars, lah?

And comments on how good she was and how interesting she made Jane Eyre and all I am thinking is: this movie is full of male sensibility.
For one thing it takes for granted that you know the story (not the book, they hope you don't know the book), if you don't a lot of skipping habits make the narration quite confusing and there is not enough information shown to fill in the voids. Clarity lacks.

Again relying too much on telling and not so much on showing. But if you are not showing it, it's not there! You just want for people to make assumptions... For other things it's quite redundant and ill timed.

The worst part is: it was out of character like a bad fan fiction.
Quite honestly, not taking into consideration the intention of the original author when doing an adaptation makes you really wish these authors could come out of the grave and rip some people's apart for raping their concept and their themes and thesis.

Jane is a survivor and she is a strong woman, she is strong witted and she answer to Rochester in a very surprising way. All of this is heard from Rochester's replies but it is not seen in the direct interpretation of the main character. So am I supposed to assume by the reaction what the action was?

In the end there is no point... people are used to do assumption based on very little, emotionally constipated elements.
Sooner or later story will be flat, they already are getting deflated.

But quite frankly, there is no possible way to go wrong with Jane Eyre. Every single adaptation I have seen had interpreted it and in a clear way... how could this one be so rigid, algid, frigid and unromantic, I wonder? How can you turn a love story into something so emotionless?

The whole thing was plastic. It was painful to watch and I will definitely remove myself from Rotten tomatoes and wikipedia COMPLETELY!

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