Jane Eyre sets new drama standard

Courtesy of Focus Features

The movie opens with Jane (Mia Wasikowska) running frantically away from an imposing castle, the weather grey and gloomy. There is no sound other than her footsteps, no movement in the scene except for her hasty gait. Obviously exhausted and devastated, she collapses as it begins to rain.

St. John Rivers (Jamie Bell) finds her and brings her back to his home. When he and his two sisters question her background, a flashback sequence begins, starting with her childhood and progresses to her time at an opressive girls’ school and then as a governess under the employment of Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender).

The emotional turmoil I experienced while watching the movie was constant. Sad, then shocked. Disgusted, relieved, then happy. Shocked again, indignant, shocked again… the list goes on. Although it was paced very slowly, somehow enough things were packed into the movie to satisfy my craving for both drama and action.

The costumes, furniture, decor, landscape and mood were beautiful and, to my untrained eye at least, reflected the time period accurately.

Witty banter and small humorous comments made the Jane Eyre stand out among all the other stuffy dramas, where the characters stay solemn and boring.

Mia Waskowska performs her role perfectly, mastering the restrained, intelligent Jane of Charlotte Bronte’s acclaimed book. Fassbender’s transition from aloof master to confidante to romantic partner was seamless.

Although there were some bumps in the road along the way, the ending was satisfying. Not quite what I wanted, but I couldn’t hope for anything more. The plot was adequately wrapped up in the end and I simultaneously wanted to see more and knew that the ending was as good as it was going to get—and that was enough for me.

Jane Eyre only shows in limited cities and theaters, but if you can find a showing, definitely put in the effort to see it.