Friday, October 31, 2008

Some More Pride, Some More Prejudice

Fitzwilliam Darcy is a seemingly impertinent young gentleman with a large fortune who battles against his own prejudice as he falls in love with a girl of lower social standing. Elizabeth Bennet is a cheerful, level-headed, and forthright young lady from a middle-class family who is held back by her pride. Around them is spun Jane Austen's timeless classic which I dearly love. And today I saw it all come to life in form of a brilliant theatrical performance from the USC School of Theatre.

Jane Kendall's dramatized adaptation of the novel packs the entire story into a living-room setting at the Bennets'. (Woww!) The sets and costumes were splendid. Interesting twists to some of Austen's characters heightened comic relief. The "bookish" and nerdy-looking Mary Bennet and the wackily amusing rendition of the pompous Mr. Collins put the audience into frequent peals of laughter. But, in my opinion, topping the charts was the wildly entertaining performance of Lizzie Fabie as the "flighty" Mrs. Bennet whose weak "nerves" never seemed to be getting the consideration they deserved from the rest of the family! To sum it up, beautiful play. If you are a fan of Jane Austen or if you just like good theatre, go watch it!
Before wrapping up, I must confess that I am an ardent fan of Jane Austen. While her novels have some fascinatingly deep portrayals of characters of all flavors and dimensions, all of them have in common the clichéd ending where the female protagonist marries her beloved (always a rich gentleman). The Elizabeth Bennets find true love and the Mrs. Bennets are relieved to have their daughter married to a rich man. But what about Ms. Austen herself? Some say that at the heart of her perceptive genius was a certain failed romance. Now, although the exact details are fuzzy, I was deeply moved by the 2007 movie "Becoming Jane" which is a poignant fictional adaptation based on Austen's life. So, in the context of the clichéd happy endings, I would like to share a quote from the movie. The lovelorn aspiring author was asked the question, "Will all your stories have happy endings?" "I'll give my characters all that they desire," replied Ms. Austen. And wasn't she always true to her words!


  1. Thanks for sharing the quote in the end.

  2. I just hope your Mr. Darcy reads this blog - else no point to it!!!

    Just kidding... it sure sounds intriguing - I must start by reading the book

  3. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Hey, if you have the patience, you must watch the BBC version of P&P which is at Leavey (Colin Firth...yum-yum...and Jennifer Ehle's...ahem...bosom is worth a mention too). It's merely five hours long, I think ;)

    Glad you got to watch P&P enacted by the School of Theater students. I remember watching Mansfield Park, and it was pretty awesome. I think they have an affinity towards Jane Austen's works :), and that's great, 'cause I'm sure most people love Regency music and costumes.

    Nice post!

    - Ramya