View Full Version : Persuasion dvd.

04-29-2007, 12:46 PM
Persuasion dvd, 1995 production of Roger Michell, staring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hindsin in principal roles. This is another in the recent outstanding dramatizations of Austen's novels, produced by the Brits, in this case the BBC .
Peruasion is difficult to read, word order mater and the emotional meaning is transmitted in relationship of sentences and paragraphs to what preceded, what follows. In this novel, her last, she uses author's commentary and internal dialog, to describe feelings. The theme is autumnal, of loss, of regret and how it relates to the concept of duty, of propriety, perennial themes in Austen's writings. In this respect Persuasion is dense, perhaps most difficult of all Austen's novels and a challenge in translating to a visual medium.
Is the translation a success? Yes, for the most part. It is more faithful to the dialog than most and the staging, interior and exterior is very good. The actors, without being beautiful, are perhaps more representative of the English 19th. century and act with comparable restrain. In the beginning scenes Anne's face is shallow, without highlights, illustrating the “early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect” and the detail is wonderfully contrasted at Lime, “She was looking remarkably well; her very regular, very pretty features, having the bloom and freshness of youth restored by the fine wind which had been blowing on her complexion” and with the scenes at Bath where Anne begins to believe in Captain Wentworth's love. Merely makeup, but a very nice attention to detail, illustrating emotion that is difficult to represent visually. The director uses natural lighting for the most part and is especially beautiful in the candlelight scenes.
Austen's irony is well translated. An objection, and it is slight, is with the ending, the required modern happy ending. I would have preferred Austen's, of Anne Eliot's monologue.

06-25-2007, 08:05 AM
Yet another beautiful adaptation!