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Wayhomer Review #59: Jane Eyre (2011)

By Widge - posted 04.28.11 @ 8:52 pm

Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre

Episode #59 for Jane Eyre, in which our protagonist gets creeped out by how pervy Rochester is, wishes for more seething, and devises a sequel that would please most audiences. He also looks forward to your emails.

Direct link for the feedreaders. Downloadable iPod version here.

Correction: I realize that my opinion of the previous Jane Eyre (the 1997 version) has apparently mellowed with time and upon reviewing my review of it--I rated it about the same. Of course, I did watch it nine years ago. So.

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Special thanks to PhantomV48 for the closing animation.

Previous episode here.

Read More About:

Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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    1. 

    My husband agrees with your analysis of Rochester.
    For me, well, here is my youtube. Hope you might share it:
    "What Gets Me About Jane Eyre"

    Comment by Kimberly Wilder — April 28, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

    2. 

    Hi Kimberly: You have thusly shared it yourself. I took the liberty of making that your link. Thanks for your comment.

    Comment by Widge — April 29, 2011 @ 12:01 am

    3. 

    Thanks!

    Comment by Kimberly Wilder — April 29, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    4. 

    thank goodness! so happy to see this review. i slapped my forehead in disbelief when they joined hands in the final scene and the credits came up. rochester is so creepy & manipulative that i'm seriously worried about this being passed off as a love story to large audiences. i felt wary every time he was on screen and plead internally with jane to please not kiss or marry him. (this was my intro. to the story.) i was hoping that someone agreed.

    (however, i do take issue with your critique of the pacing and filmmaking because it was effective enough to draw me in completely and evoke such strong emotional oppositions to a fictional relationship.)

    Comment by laura — May 6, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    5. 

    Laura: Thanks for your comment. However, I would counter that your strong reactions are a tribute to how well Fassbender was playing such a creepy bastard rather than a defense of the pacing. :-)

    Comment by Widge — May 6, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

    6. 

    The review - Points for pointing out it kind of sanctions guy being prick getting the girl - completely misses that she goes off and gets job, maintains self respect which is unusual for 1847. I will never watch thiese reviews again. I am a woman highway engineer - taping this while driving is totally unsafe role model - this is type of behavior that causes accidents for you and others - I don't know if you are really driving but it's a bad bad image.

    Comment by Elaine Kuehn — May 28, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

    7. 

    Elaine: Thanks for your concern, but you'll notice that while driving I am watching the road and always keep one hand on the wheel. I never fully engage the camera unless the vehicle is stopped due to traffic or at a red light. All I am doing is talking to someone in the passenger seat, who happens to be filming. So based on your logic, you should never speak aloud while driving. In fact, based on your logic, you sure as hell shouldn't have a conversation--which is more dangerous than what I'm doing since all I'm doing is delivering what is, in essence, a monologue. In a dialogue, I have to process what is being said back to me and then respond. Which can be distracting from driving. If I was also holding or operating the camera while the car was in motion, you might have a point, but that's the reason I have a cameraperson or at the very least, the camera mounted independently of me.

    Again, I appreciate your concern. But I think you're way off base. About both my safety and the "maintaining self-respect" aspect of the film. Hugs and espresso to you.

    Comment by Widge — May 28, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    8. 

    I just saw the film and while it has precious photography and the level of acting I would think best represents the book, I found it little engaging as well.

    However, since you ask what you are missing, here is what I understand you are missing from the moral of the story:

    In fact this tale is highly feminist. Classic reviewers see it more darkly than you, the story is about Jane castrating Mr Rochester to tame him down and make him repent of his life of vice. In the end it is she who has the upperhand, even physically.

    Note how she comes back to him after he has become blind, burnt and infirm, he has lost his estate, he is desperate and he has been duly chastised for trying to take advantage of purity (the movie doens't show him as in a bad shape as the book though).
    Note how also the tale is about self-respect and ability to support herself, even in those times when women didn't even work.

    The inheritance is in fact one common element of gothic literature, which includes ghosts, deux exmachina and other strongly immoral attitudes (ex. The Monk), that is, it IS meant to be exagerated.

    Comment by Darynthe — August 25, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    9. 

    Darynthe: Thanks for the comment. I did remember that they managed to leave him much more "intact" in the film than the book. I appreciate the added context.

    Comment by Widge — August 25, 2011 @ 11:26 am

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