Pride and Prejudice (2005) – Blu-Ray Review

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is the most beloved romantic novel ever written.  Because of its appeal, this story has been adapted many times for both films and television. 

This adaptation had theatrical release in 2005 and stars Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFadyen as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and is now available in Blu-Ray.

Everyone who loves Pride & Prejudice has a favorite adaptation, and some are vehement about this, ready to argue the points passionately that set their choice above others.   There is always the question, is it faithful to the original? 

It would be difficult for any production to be faithful to the novel, firstly because it IS a novel, and these are living people giving inflection and nuances to their interpretations and dialog that is often a passage of description in text.  We are also citizens of the 21st Century and try as we might to understand the society; early 19th Century England remains another time and another place.

That being said, I like to think that if Miss Austen could come forward in time to see the adaptations, she would be intrigued by the variations and would think no worse of us than that we are a creative lot.  At least one hopes that she would be flattered by the great love many people have for her novels, so much so, that we continually wish to bring them to life.

In the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, the Bennet family which is central to the novel as Lizzie’s society, step out of their designated roles to become more real.  Instead of the single dimensions of Jane being beautiful, Lizzie clever, Mary dull, and Kitty and Lydia silly, the sisters have many different emotions and attributes, displaying both their strengths and their flaws.

In this particular production, the Bennets are a big, noisy, not always in agreement group, but they love each other.  With the love demonstrated by closeness between Mr. Bennet (Donald Sutherland) and Mrs. Bennet (Brenda Blethyn) who are fond of each other in spite of their differences of opinion, it is possible for the others to accept follies and not snipe sarcastically or hurtfully. 

The Blu-Ray of Pride & Prejudice 2005 is stunning.  From stately homes that served as settings for some scenes, to breathtaking countryside, Blu-Ray gives a scope to the production that allows the viewer to appreciate the details. 

My favorite scene in the film occurs when the Bennet family is at home, and the view from one side shows a “homey” sort of room, not particularly fashionable, but comfortable.  As guests are announced, everyone sits up, spruces up and the camera swings to reveal a formal elegant sitting room arrangement. 

It is a small thing, but it seems to shine in Blu-ray, as the viewer is able to see the amount of effort taken to portray the Bennets as comfortable in their home, but able to put on a formal society face fairly rapidly.  

The film is presented on single disc 1080p High Definition widescreen with a running time of two hours and ten minutes.  The audio is available in English or French, with subtitles in English, French or Spanish.  The Blu-Ray features allow the viewer to bookmark scenes and place them in a collection for return viewing.  There are also special features exclusive to BD Live through internet connections. 

There are several featurettes, “Conversations with the Cast,” “Jane Austen:  Ahead of her Time,” “A Bennet Family Portrait,”  “HBO First Look: Pride & Prejudice,” “The Stately Homes of Pride & Prejudice,” and feature commentary with Director Joe Wright. 

This is a beautiful presentation of this film adaptation.

Visit the DVD database for more information.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.

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