A Postcard to Jane Austen

The Jane Austen Film Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

The Jane Austen film adapts the setting of the film Pride and Prejudice, in which the director, Joe Wright, attempts to put an alternate and practical perspective on the time when the piece was made better than the predecessors. Instead of tossing up better thoughts for Britain in the eighteenth century and keeping it within the picturesque of the usual practices, Wright seeks to romanticize and catch certain filth, social customs, and economic adversities. Similarly, the protagonists' marriages, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet prove to be both forceful and complex. From this case, I will major on five shots which begin from the 38:45th min from the screen time and end at 41.18th min. From this duration, Joe Wright tries to feed the Voyeuristic needs of the spectators and also goes on to manifest through most of the sexual tension that exists between characters like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth where he uses mise-en-scene, the act of editing, character and camera movements.

The Dance at Netherfield

From the same sequence, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy remain in Netherfield which is the home country of the best associate of Mr. Darcy by the name Mr. Bingley. From this particular spot from the film, Elizabeth has only been requested to dance by Mr. Darcy (Austen and Jane 90). She, however, agrees despite Elizabeth despising him due to his treatment and arrogance directed to Mr. Wickham who is the former associate of Mr. Darcy as well as a recent love attention of Elizabeth. This sequence starts immediately after the two begin lining up to dance at the film time which is 38.45 minute and ends at 41.18 minutes which involves about five different shots (Byrne and Paula 45). The initial shot appears to be brief and only happens for about two seconds. From this shot, men align together who are soldiers from the eighteenth century in Britain. The other five come gentry who include Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy and face the left direction. The other crowd together with the ballroom walls are vaguely seen from the background as a mise-en-scene. The first shot is keenly filmed from an angle that is oblique and at a standard position where the shot widens from left to right and focuses on a narrow view beginning from the right side to the left direction focusing directly to Mr. Darcy. It appears that all men standing close to Mr. Darcy seem to be shorter and assist in establishing his character which is an air of importance as well as eminence. Several clatters and chatter are heard from a far distance as these men continue waiting for sounds of music to play. These men are dressed in modest colors as they stare on the left side of the off-screen. This is reflected by the partner dances as revealed by the 2nd shot.

The Women in the Dance

Some music begins as the film goes on from the first to the second shot and in this case, Dario Marinelli’s which is referred to as “A Postcard to Henry Purcell.” The second shot is a clear reflection of what the gentlemen had been looking at as a dance partner from female rows is shown through an oblique sequence. The 2nd shot appears to be directly opposite from the 1st shot hence portrays a parallel difference between men and women. In this situation, there is a difference of the line of people, and here a line of eight women appears who face the right direction. The women include Jane, Elizabeth and her sister who meet the right profile. The women are dressed in white clothes, and their hair is coifed in perfect white manner. The shot is different from the 1st shot because it increases from a left direction towards the right side and focuses narrowly on a perfect right to the left direction towards Elizabeth (Jones and Darryl 87). The main similarity, in this case, is that the characters standing close to Elizabeth appear to be short. This makes them draw some attention to Elizabeth. The other similarity of the mise-en-scene is that the shot is not long because it only lasts for three seconds.

The Dance and Dialogue

We get to shot three as the women begin rising from the bows. The cinematography is identical at this point where it resembles that of the first shot and later proceeds as an extended take where it then continues for more than two minutes without cutting of the dances of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. From the third shot, the camera appears to be static as it moves laterally in a similar direction to the dances of the characters and offers an impress of number eight. The only people who appear to be in focus at this period is Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. At this shot, we hear the first discussion being spoken. At this shot, the two protagonists appear to dance close to each other through a bite banter dance move. The dances begin with little talks as the music continues to play smoothly and softly. Despite this situation, as the music continues to swell slowly, the banter gets to be more sarcastic as Elizabeth starts to respond to the inquiry of Mr. Darcy by trying to know whether she will talk as she dances (Byrne and Paula 45). The dance circles, as well as dance, turn improve as the dialogue sarcasm begins. There is, however, some soaring music of violins which make Mr. Darcy lose his friendship with Mr.Wickham. “Why are you asking such a question?” he retorts as he clenches his teeth. During this duration, there is increased tension between these two characters. The two characters appear to be having battles from their desire to love and loathe with the individual who seems to be near them.

The Intensity and Editing

The fourth shot appears suddenly after the director begins the music again making Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy start dancing. Every individual from the ball later goes away, and one thing that is seen is some two-people dancing (Sargent and Amy 76). These people are intensely fixed on one another making everyone else move away from the dance. The camera appears to be less stagnant from this position and only moves close to the two characters which are different from how it was before. This results in a distinct impression that the two people are not a constraint on the floor and that they are flying. The fourth shot appears to be significant as well as prominent than any other shot not only due to the change of mise-en-scene but due to the editing was done by wrights (Jones and Darryl 67). Graeme Turner notes in his writing “Film as Social Practice” that any director has the opportunity “To use their timing to slow down the energy of an action or even to enhance it” (88). During any action moments, cuts improve a drama. Since the third shot was fixed and stagnant and long, cutting to shot four appears to be jarring and inactive. The editing in this situation depicts the significance of the fourth shot hence creating some magnitude of its content as well as some sexual stiffness between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

The Conclusion of the Dance

The final cut takes place after the end of music play and after Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth bow down to each other. From shot 5, it is evident that it is almost similar to the second shot where all women are in line expect that they are in a similar position to men from shot 1. There is an ending of the sequence after Lizzie glares from off-screen leading to the clapping of Mr. Darcy and other ladies. From this series, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth are followed by the Camera without offering the spectator with any clear indication of the individual watching. This makes Daniel Dayan bring up a significant question from his essay, “The code of the Tutor of the classical cinema (Austen and Jane 65).” After posting the question, the spectators get to know about the mechanics of a film and ends up hiding some operations. He “naturalizes the function and messages of the movie in the same manner” (126). The main aim behind this situation is to create a real impression of his work.

Voyeurism and Enjoyment

We are made to make original documentation the viewpoint of the cameras in this shot forcefully just as Christian Metz states in his essay namely “identification” The primary pressure in this situation is to watch what happens to the cameras. We can identify this as voyeurism of the highest degree. Joe Wright uses this style to improve the enjoyment and pleasure of the viewer through a romantic series. The beautiful main scene from the film is the dance pattern. Director Joe navigates through the camera as smooth music continues to play in the background. Joe carefully uses some film narratives to convey what was demonstrated by Jane Austen from her lovely work of several years ago and creates a visually enjoyable categorization for the viewer.

Works Cited

  1. Austen, Jane. Pride and prejudice. Vol. 1. Artisan Shoppe, 2017.

  2. Byrne, Paula. The real Jane Austen: a life in small things. Harper Collins, 2013.

  3. Jones, Darryl. "Pride and Prejudice." Jane Austen. Palgrave, London, 2004. 93-112.

  4. Sargent, Amy. "The Darcy effect: Regional tourism and costume drama." International journal of heritage studies 4.3-4 (1998): 177-186.

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