The well-known romance
novel, written by Jane Austen, was made into BBC series, but also a British
American full-length movie. The adaptation I chose is the 2005 movie by
director Joe Wright. It is a romantic melodrama with Keira Knightley as the
lead protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, and her love interest Darcy Fitzwilliam
played by Matthew Macfadyen. Originally, all the dialogues were planned to be
kept the same in the movie. When I watched the movie, I noticed many changes to
the story. Wright, the director, changed many things in the story, including
the original dialogue. Truthfully, the movie does not follow the  whole story by Jane Austen, it is more of a
shortened version. It is understandable, because it would be difficult to put
300 pages of the story into a 2 hour movie. The set of the movie in the late 18th
century, whereas the book occurred in the 19th century. His changes
were done to the characters, but also the scenes, which he omitted but also
added and introduced us new scenes. The director wanted the younger audience to
understand as well being able to connect with the story. If the movie was the
same as the book, it would be shown in the perspective of Elizabeth. However,
Wright chose to include the scenes with the perspective of Darcy as well to
show his human side and prove that he is not only a grumpy character without
feelings. It also proved how close his relationship was with Bingley.

            Firstly, the changes in
the characters were rather in the personality than physical changes. However,
that was one change in the physical attribute to a character that was quite
striking. Mr Collins, the cousin and possible husband of Elizabeth, was
described as a “tall, heavy looking young man of five and twenty”. However, in
the movie adaptation he had a very tiny figure to the point he was even smaller
then Lizzie and seemed comical. In the movie adaptation he is too nice and kind
to the point people feel sorry for him. The book rather shows his negative and
unattractive personality as Austen described Collins in this way : ‘His air was
grave and stately, and his manners were very formal’.

            The bigger difference
was in the character of Elizabeth. In the book, Elizabeth was portrayed as a
bright, well-mannered protagonist who thinks rationally. Whereas in the movie,
especially if we focus in the scene where she is seen yelling at her mother,
she is quite rude, bold and impatient and even grumpy. This particular change
in her character is quite unrealistic considering that it was situated in the
19th century, where yelling at the parents was considered as an
unusual thing.

Looking at the physical appearance, Elizabeth, but
also the Bennet family were portrayed as a poor peasant class, which was easily
identified by the clothing and housing. That is a quite huge change compared to
the book. The difference between Darcy and Elizabeth social classes is too
obvious in the movie version. Wright made the Bennet family look like they are
a peasant lower class, whereas Austen created them as a gentry who posseses an
estate. His change did not affect only the physical appearance or housing. What
is more, their manners were also changed. The family behaves in a chaotic way,
the scene where is a pig running through the kitchen proves it very well. No
one will think that in the book they are an aristocratic class originally. He
should have not changed it because it lost the truthfulness to the book and its

            Moreover, Wright’s
Elizabeth keeps her distance not only with Jane, but also with her sisters later
through the movie. She is secretive and ridicules her family. The original
Elizabeth never kept secrets from Jane. She shares her current thoughts in her
mind but also their future plans. Furthermore, she is well educated and
rational enough to behave like that. This was the difference, that completely
changed the perception of the female protagonist, but also the whole narrative.
The movie version portrays her as a lonely heroine who is dealing with emotions
by herself.

            The qualities of
Elizabeth in the movie reminds us a typical romantic hero who is lonely and
dealing with problems by himself. She keeps secrets from Jane and does not tell
her that Darcy wrote her a letter explaining the reason of his conflict with
Wickham nor that he was the one who saved her family, when he paid for the
wedding of Lydia and Wickham, but also paid off his debts. Jane Austen’s
Elizabeth is more of a neoclassical character who has a rational thinking and
is not alone, because she has her sister or her best friend Charlotte Lucas to

            However, that does not
mean that the movie adaptation made Elizabeth cold-hearted. Elizabeth has a few
scenes where she is not afraid to show her real emotions. She is crying in
front of Darcy and his relatives when she receives the news of her sister Lydia
running away with Wickham. In the last part of the movie, Elizabeth is crying
again, when she explains to her father that she truly loves Darcy and ask for
permission to marry him. This scene is very emotional, as both Elizabeth and
her father, Mr Bennet, are crying. He shows his true emotions of being sad to
let her go but also happy at the same time, because he believes she found a
true love. In the book, it was not to such an extent, with Elizabeth only
having tears in her eyes. Therefore, it was not as visible as in the movie.

            The relationship of Mr
and Mrs Bennet was also a striking difference. The movie made their
relationship very affectionate. On the other hand, in the book, the Bennets
relationship is passive and hostile.

                        The focus of Wright’s Pride and Prejudice was on the
romance between Elizabeth and Darcy. On the other hand, Jane Austen wrote the
book with the themes of love and the different ways of its perception. Also the
importance of money and property in pre-industrial England. However, the theme
displayed in both works is the class distinction. There were visible social
differences and marriage was a tool that narrowed the differences. The ideal
solution for a woman were to marry someone with a good social status and men
had to possess a fortune.

            The thing that caught my
eye were the locations of the movie version. Director Wright chose the locations
very well as it gave off an authentic feeling. Both Longbourn and Pemberley are
fictional towns. Thus, he had chosen Derbyshire and Kent, or Chatsworth House
and Groombridge Place to be exact, for a more realistic approach. Chatsworth
House is a stately home from the 16th century, whereas Groombrige
Place is a manor house of 17th century.

            To give a romantic
touch to the story, he used weather as an important tool for expressing
emotions of the protagonists. In fact, the movie made the character and nature
as one. The inner feelings were shown with the weather. When Darcy was
proposing to Elizabeth for the first time, in Stourhead Garden, Temple of
Apollo, it was pouring down. This was a complete change compared to Austin’s
version inside a room at Coollins’ house when she was visiting Hunsford. With
the rain, the two characters are having an argument while Darcy is confessing
to Elizabeth that he loves her.

            For the second
confession, the situation was comparable in the movie adaptation just like the
first one, as the weather was cheerful pairing with the mood of the
protagonists. The moment when Darcy proposed to Elizabeth again and she
accepted it.

            Finally, the movie ends
with a romantic kiss between Elizabeth and Darcy in the night scene of
Pemberley. The actual book never ended this way. It ends with Lydia who is
writing a letter to Elizabeth to wish her happiness and most importantly ask
for money.

Nowadays people prefer watching movies to reading
books. Jane Austen’s story is timeless, thus it is obvious there have been many
adaptations, series or book. Furthermore, it is a However, if we take the movie
adaptation and the original book, there are too many differences that are
obvious when we compare it with the book. Wright made Elizabeth look as a rude,
but also secretive character and thus, changed the narrative of the story. The
movie was very romantic, because the nature was one with the main protagonist.
When she was sad, the weather changed to stormy, and when she was happy, the
sun was shining bright. Therefore, the character of Elizabeth was lonesome,
like any romantic hero. In the novel, she is not lonely, because she shares
everything with Jane or Charlotte. She is rational and that is the trait of a
neoclassical character. Overall, Wright wanted the audience to understand the
story more and that is why the dialogues were changed.