Friday, May 11, 2012

Pride and Prejudice-Movie Review

A few weeks ago I watched the film Pride and Prejudice based on the Jane Austin Victorian era novel. I'm not going to really review the film but I'll just point out what stood out for me in the film.

  • Relatable story: The book must have been an influence for Bridget Jones' Diary lol! One of Bridget's love interests was actually named Mark Darcy (Mr. Darcy is the main love interest for Elizabeth Bennet [Keira Knightly's character] in the film) so I doubt that was a coincidence. It's funny because I can really relate to Bridget Jones which in turn means I can relate to Elizabeth! Wow! I think it will be useful for myself and others to look for similarities and useful things in people, media, and education regardless of who the information comes from and what they look like. I think that this is one of the benefits I got from watching the film. I've firmly decided to open my mind to things from other cultures (as long as they are not directly insulting me).
  • Reputation and image is very important: I think that some successful Black women can relate to the story because although Elizabeth's family was not poor they were not upper class and had mannerisms that others looked down upon. She conducted herself like a lady but her family members had some questionable behaviours that made Elizabeth seem unattractive by association (she had a social stigma that others could hold against her). This blog is about becoming a better woman despite lineage or colour so the film reflects the obstacles a Black woman could encounter when attempting to gain acceptance by the mainstream or by other successful members of society. 
  • People will judge you based on the actions of your family whether that is unfair or not. It is up to us to teach our children how to behave and to act as role models. However, if you can not help the way your family behaves at least you can behave the best you can. We are also judged by the reputations of our friends and this is why you should only surround yourselves with high quality people. When your social standing changes you may need to change your social group. Your actions have consequences and it is naive to think that getting into arguments or fights, being arrested, getting fired for poor conduct or work, going bankrupt, or airing your dirty laundry will not have negative consequences for you! I believe that failing to plan is planning to fail and the "don't worry about it, everything will turn out okay" attitude is self-destructive and the path to failure. It is a very passive attitude of letting things happen to you instead of actively making things go your way. If you want something, you have to work for it!
  • Manners are important for social success: Most characters in the film had excellent manners and there were numerous displays of formal behaviour, chivalry, and femininity. Caring about manners and etiquette is not old fashioned or unnecessary because the consequences of not having these attributes could be serious. For example, bullying or being aggressive is negative behaviour that could get you suspended or expelled from school, fired from your job, or even put in jail. Lacking social skills could make you a target for bullying and ridicule which would be very unpleasant, prevent you from making or keeping friends, and prevent you from getting along with co-workers which could interfere with your advancement at work.
  • No one is perfect: Elizabeth was able to be herself and she was actually quite opinionated. She did become angry once and was not submissive when her family was insulted. But she did behave like a lady. No one in the film was perfect! For example, Mr. Darcy had difficulty speaking to new people and appeared unhappy and mean, Elizabeth's mother talked too much and bragged about her daughter's relationships, the younger sisters laughed inappropriately and got drunk, another character was socially awkward, and there were a few very snobby people. However, their manners were still better than many people's today. The lesson here is to be your best self, forgive yourself for not being perfect, recognize your faults, but always strive for self-improvement.
  • Women looked feminine: The women in the film always looked like women and different from the men. Most of the time they wore their hair in pretty up-dos, something I want to learn because they are protective styles and look very elegant. 
  • Wanting marriage is normal: Women and men want love and it is normal to want to settle down. Men (and women) may enjoy playing the field for a while, but most eventually become bored with the insecurity and lack of intimacy. Wanting love and long-term companionship is normal! All the women AND MEN wanted to get married in the film and were searching for partners. In fact, they would attend social events for the sole purpose of meeting someone. Nowadays, whenever you read an article about women wanting to get married someone will come along and ask "why do you want to get married anyway, it's so antiquated and unnecessary|, or "it's a remnant of patriarchy" etc. Those people are so annoying! Now if a woman says she wants to go out and meet men she may be called desperate. A man saying he wants to get married prior to age 35 may be looked at strangely or with suspicion. Prior to maybe the 1980s or even 1990s marriage was the norm and it still is in most countries. I don't know whether this is an unfortunate consequence of feminism, left-wing extremism, or anarchist reasoning that has led to this no rules, anything goes attitude. I'm sorry but I have no interest in living on a commune with a bunch of single mothers raising our children together because we had too much casual sex and we don't know who the fathers are, but we are so strong and independent we don't need them anyway. That is practically what some of these critics are advocating!
  • Some women are marriage material: Men know early on whether or not a woman is marriage material. If a new man you meet treats you like a piece of meat then he doesn't see you as marriage material. Pay attention to the way he treats you and do not share your body with anyone who is not committed to you and who does not see you as marriage material. Doing otherwise would be dangerous to your physical and mental health and it will not get you the love that you are seeking. Although marriage originated for reasons that may be oppressive (and also beneficial) to women it does not have to maintain the negative connotations. Societies change and the reasons for doing things in the past do not have to be adhered to today. In the past women were treated like property sold from father to husband but we don't have to adhere to that today and can instead keep all the benefits of marriage. I believe you can cut the bad parts off a fruit and still eat it instead of throwing the whole thing away! One example from the movie that stood out was when men asked permission from fathers to marry their daughters. When men ask for the father (or parents') permission to wed it does not have to symbolize that the potential bride is property given from father to groom. We can just think about it as paying respect for the parents' wishes and an attempt to become a part of their family.
  • There is value in watching "chick flicks": I think I should start watching more "chick flicks" to help nurture my romantic, soft, loving side. I have always loved romance and love stories, but I think I was so sad and lonely for a while that I ran away from those things because they just reminded me that I was alone. I don't like that today there too much emphasis on sex, "hooking up", "friends with benefits", and Mr. Right Now instead of having a loving, committed relationship. I need to avoid those messages as much as possible. Optimistic people tend to be happier than those who are bitter and pessimistic so I choose to be optimistic about love! I think another benefit of chick flicks is that that they show you women that men desire and their qualities. Unlike in this film, in many chick flicks the woman is hardened in the beginning but becomes softer and more attractive which is why the man falls for her. In other examples the woman is a dream girl type and although some feminists hate it, they show the women men would love to be with in a relationship. I think the more functional and attractive female behaviour I see the better and it will help to counteract the negative messages.
So in conclusion, I do recommend the film and I actually liked it!


  1. That was a great review. I'm glad you took that away from the film. If you have the time, you should read the book. You would also get loads more 'tips' of a similar slant from Jane Austen. She had very practical views about women and marriage - even though the women in her novels had less opportunities to 'get out' and meet men.

  2. I read Pride and Prejudice in high school for a English class, but we weren't able to finish it. We watched the whole movie though and its a favorite of mine now. :) I should check it out from the library read it completely.