Thursday, 18 October 2007

Austen overload...

I've just finished watching Bride and Prejudice.

It wasn't exactly intellectually stimulating, but then what musical ever is?

It got me thinking though.

When are we going to get enough of Austen adaptations?

In my modest life time there have been about four Pride and Prejudice based works: The BBC adaptation, the more recent film version with Keira Knightley, Bride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary (the lead isn't called Darcy for nothing).

Then there was Emma (and Clueless), Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park.

There have been so many I wouldn't be surprised if I've missed one.

I love Austen.

I think her social commentary is brilliant, witty and cutting.

But are we in danger of dumbing her down?

Bride and Prejudice is a prime culprit.

The subtle nuances of the work are clobbered to death by Bollywood inspired musical set pieces.

You could argue that this is exactly the point of Bride and Prejudice.

It isn't meant to be BBC drama, it's meant to be pure unadulterated fun.

But I find that despite the toe tapping tunes and lavish costumes I'm crying out for Austen's (rather stern) voice.

Maybe it's the nature of the beast though...

Austen, by the end of her life, described Pride and Prejudice as being far "too light and bright and sparkling".

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