You know my passion on period books and movies so please indulge me while I shall speak today about Persuasion. Persuasion is one of the 6 finished novels of my fav authoress, Jane Austen. The 2007 BBC TV Movie version is one of my favorite movies and the screenshots are from it - in case you wondered and you never saw this masterpiece. Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot - the sensible middle daughter of a vain and spendthrift baronet named Sir Walter Elliot. When she was younger she fell in love with the dashing yet poor lad named Frederick Wentworth. He had no fortune and no connections so Sir Walter, and her whole family after that, disagreed on the union. But it was not their fault that Anne parted with Frederick. Oh, no! Yet again people need to meddle in so Lady Russell - who was very much the mother figure in Anne's life, as her mother died a long time ago... - manages to change her mind about the marriage. The story starts being revealed 8 years later on, when the Elliot family is in grave financial trouble due to Sir Walters style of living - not to mention Elizabeth, his elder daughter - and the constant spending. They are forced to rent their big house in the country and move to town. They ended up leasing their house and estate – Kellylynch Hall in Somersetshire – to an Admiral Croft and his wife. The latter turned out to be the older sister of the now Captain Wentworth.
Elizabeth and Sir Walter take off to their new home in Bath, while Anne remains behind to finish business in Comercershire and say goodbye/farewell to all the family friends and relatives - as it was the custom back then. She also needs to take care of her little sister who is a hypochondriac and always manage to get my temper up, no matter if I was watching the movie or reading the book. Her name is now Mary Musgrove as she married Charles Musgrove and lives in a nearby estate. Frederick, as expected, enters the scene and meets Anne again while visiting his sister. He is no longer poor as he is now Captain and has become rich from prize money awarded from capturing enemy vessesl during the Napoleonic Wars. But what comes from that is also the fact that now he is seen as a catch for every eligible young woman – including her brother-in-law’s two sisters, Louisa and Henrietta Musgrove. I am not going to spoil everything as I really wish for you to watch this movie. I was happy enough to read the book first and that always makes it even better ;) But I can tell you that both of them will learn to overcome their demons in order to be with eachother once more - showing us at the same time that true love lasts forever :)
I must say that I truly loved Sally Hawkins in this movie. She played Anne perfectly! You can feel her hurt and her sorrow going deep. You can see how she is torm between the love and duty to her family VS. the need to be next to Frederick. You can feel how those long 8 years made her love no less but rather grow in size for him. Her line in her diary "The Worst is over. I have seen him. We have been once more in the same room" always makes me cry my eyes out... To be so hurt and yet unable to tell a living soul about it, what a torment that can be!
Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Frederick Wentworth is no less than brilliant. He needs not say a lot but the way he moves and the way he looks can make ones heart melt. Sally's and Rupert's facial expressions combined with very little dialogue, manage to convey their characters’ emotions, demons and development. The minus about the apperance of Rupert/Captain Wentworth was the fact that he was so darn white/pale for a person who was constantly at sea for 8 years!
Tobias Menzies as William Elliot was for me a revelation! I almost liked him more than I should! He is the questionable cousin that wishes to woo Anne into marriage. In the movie it looked like they really had a genuine connection so that got me all confused... Well, no worries, and SPOILER!!! (in case you were lazy enough not to read the book!) Anne will be happy with Frederick by her side ;)
Tell you the truth I quite enjoy this adaptation and it is my fav Persuasion movie adaptation ;) The only thing I am struggling about it is the love-hate relationship I have with one of the scenes in the movie. On one hand it is unproper, un-lady-like and totally historically unaccurate and on the other hand it is something that I would do, no matter the time and place where I would live in. Of course, I am talking of the Bath Marathon scene :) After reading the infamous letter from Frederick, Anne lounges into a mad chase after him. Chase that takes her very much through the whole Bath. I mean, seriously, this girl can run! Oh, disregard the people on the street who watch her and think she is a loonatic, erase any good sense in this girl and all her chances to have a normal time in society, let's just make a run for it! Finally the 2 of them bump into eachother and we see a sweaty Anne with red face , facing the immaculate Frederick - so proper! The awesome side of the run is the fact that you get to see lovely Bath ;)
Now enough from my side, I shall leave you with a taste of this movie by letting you read Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne - yup, the one who made her run her arse off, pardon my French! :)
"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, inF. W.
"I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never."
A LadyBug that truly likes Persuasion