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I watched it! Spoilers ahead smiling smiley

July 16, 2022 09:30PM
Spoilers for Persuasion (2020). You've been warned. smiling smiley

I said I would watch it, so I did. It was an ExperienceTM that ranged from cringy to awkward to hilarious to just screaming "NO WAY!" at my tv. Well, on the bright side, I can ridicule the whole film to my heart's content now!

So, first thing: it was hinted at in the trailer, but it was overdone in the movie. What was? You might ask. Breaking the fourth wall. Constantly. If you thought Mansfield Park (1999) was bad enough, watch this and see how far this wall can go down. Or maybe the writers forgot about it altogether, because there was no actual breaking. The fourth wall never existed in the first place. From scene one, Anne is talking to the audience, telling us this and that about her life, her family, her past, present, future... After a while, all this staring directly into the camera gets creepy.

Second thing: go fanfiction! Now, I have loved JAFF ever since I found out it was a thing. Give me all the missing moments you ever imagined, I will read them and love them. But if I'm watching a movie adaptation of a novel, the extra scenes had better be few and far between, carefully placed and attentively drafted. No, I do NOT need a completely invented, out-of-character conversation when Anne and Frederick discuss their relationship! And Frederick tells Anne he wants her to be in his life! As his friend! What is this, a contemporary rom-com? Never mind that. To stress the point, we'll just have Mr. Elliot invite Frederick to Anne and Elliot's wedding because she would be devastated if her friend Captain Wentworth wasn't there.

These "missing moments" take up too much of the film. Anne and Louisa are besties (yes, the word is chosen deliberately. We're in Clueless world, bear with me), she wants to matchmake for Anne and Frederick, then gets a crush on the Captain and asks Anne for permission to "set her cap at him" (in a very roundabout way, but still - not a rom-com!). Oh, and Anne has a pic-nic in the woods with Lady Russell! During which said lady has no qualms confessing (to an unmarried young lady!) that she travels to Europe to have affairs.

And we come to the third thing: the modern language! Not surprising, because the trailer said "we're worse than exes". Still. I was in high school about 15 years ago and this movie has slang I didn't even use back then because it wasn't popular or widespread. American slang. American language, too. "Who's a 5 in London is a 10 in Bath"? To be a [insert number from 1 to 10] is very specific and recent slang. Maybe the average Netflix viewer, aged 15-19, would have been unable to understand it otherwise? Then again, Mary's letter summoning Anne to Uppercross reads like a text message, with a sad emoji to - again - stress the point. Because it was not obvious enough, apparently. Lady Russell saying she travels to Europe is also terribly American. The British (and correct me if I'm wrong) would call it "the continent", or specify the individual countries, because Britain is in Europe.

I will spare you the details of every single character being either out-of-character or having certain traits stressed to the point of caricature. I will say, though, that Anne's and Frederick's renditions disappointed me the most. Anne because, like I was afraid of, was pictured like a mixture of Elizabeth Bennet and Emma - not even the canon characters, but their movie versions from modern adaptations like Bridget Jones and Clueless. And Frederick! He snapped at Mary after the accident in Lyme. Snapped at her! And nobody said a word. Because snapping at annoying people might be the norm in the current times, but it certainly was not in the Regency era, especially from a gentleman to a married lady totally unrelated to him. Mr. Darcy wrote a long letter to apologise for his un-gentlemanly conduct to Elizabeth! This Wentworth is just unapologetically impolite (to Mary and Mr. Elliot, at least), an oversharer, a talker... Silent resentment? Where are you?

This got too long, but tl:dr watch it like you would a parody, prepare to laugh, don't drink or eat during (choking or snorting alert) and if you really feel hurt afterwards because your OTP was destroyed beyond recognition, go rewatch your favourite Persuasion movie adaptation or - better yet - go reread your favourite parts of the novel itself. Time will heal the wounds smiling smiley

The new Persuasion movie - thoughts?

LilyJune 17, 2022 10:22AM

where is Frederick?

Gloria L.July 18, 2022 03:47PM

I watched it! Spoilers ahead smiling smiley

LilyJuly 16, 2022 09:30PM

slang question

HarveyJuly 17, 2022 01:31PM

Re: slang question

LilyJuly 18, 2022 11:11AM

Re: slang question

HarveyJuly 24, 2022 09:35PM

ETA Trigger warning for the movie

LilyJuly 16, 2022 10:06PM

Re: The new Persuasion movie - thoughts?

NobukoJune 19, 2022 02:18PM

Re: The new Persuasion movie - thoughts?

Gloria L.July 16, 2022 05:57PM

Re: The new Persuasion movie - thoughts?

LilyJune 20, 2022 10:08AM

Re: The new Persuasion movie - thoughts?

Maria SousaJune 18, 2022 03:26PM

Re: The new Persuasion movie - thoughts?

HarveyJune 19, 2022 04:19PM


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