- Kaleem Aftab
- 19 August 2011
Gothic yet modern adaptation helped by excellent performances
The latest adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic book demonstrates that great texts can have many different interpretations. Director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) dumps the childhood chapters, makes insinuations as to the cruel upbringing endured by Eyre before picking up the story as she takes up a job as a governess in the house of the beguiling Rochester.
Starring the otherworldly Mia Wasikowska in the titular role and the devilish Michael Fassbender as Rochester, the casting has been designed to place emphasis on the gothic aspects of the book. The sense of eeriness is delivered with the cloudy backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors and muted clothing choices. Clearly mindful to appeal to the Twilight generation – foreboding, danger and forbidden love are the juices fuelling this romance. Dame Judi Dench makes her presence felt as Mrs Fairfax while Jamie Bell as St John Rivers remains largely on the periphery, with insufficient evidence of his unrequited love. Fukunaga does a great job in making the action and emotions feel modern without updating the story to the present day. He’s helped by Fassbender’s excellent performance, which is so central that this movie could justifiably have been called Rochester.
General release from Fri 9 Sep.