The Greatest Fangirl Debate


      Perhaps one of the greatest debates in the history of the fangirl community is the great conflict between the 1995 and 2005 Pride and Prejudice movies.
       Well, maybe not, but it is cause for great discussion among them. Heated discussion. I've never ventured to put my opinion out there, because before last week I had never seen the 1995 version. Granted, I did read lots of posts about them, and got all riled up when someone said anything bad about the 2005 version. It was my beloved version, so don't you dare insult it! Well, now I've seen them both, so I thought I should finally publicize my thoughts to the world.
     
           Before I begin, I would like to kindly ask you all to lay your pride, and your prejudices at the door. *ahem see what I did there?* I respect everyone's opinion, and I totally understand that some of the 1995 fans would call the 2005 version the 'fake version' and that some people dislike the 1995 version. Please comment below what you think, even if you disagree with me. I'd love to see your perspective.
   
             Let's start by comparing the main characters.
 
     


   

            




  Elizabeth Bennet is someone who I think we've all wanted to be like. Witty and sarcastic, but elegant and kind all the same.
     Keira Knightley as Elizabeth was definitely a bit less graceful than Jennifer Ehle. She laughed and smiled a bit more I think, and she did have quite striking eyes. She gave a more youthful appearance, and I like that aspect. She was a little bit awkward, and not as refined, so it was a little different. Many people say that she had far too much makeup on, but actually, she didn't wear any eye makeup, as the directors wanted her to look as natural as possible. She did, however, wear makeup to cover up blemishes, but I've no doubt that Jennifer Ehle did too.
      I do think that she was a little thin. I preferred the weight of Jennifer Ehle, she was a little more average weight.
      Keira Knightley was 20 when Pride & Prejudice was being filmed, the age of Elizabeth Bennet in the book. Jennifer Ehle was 25 when the 1995 version was being filmed. She did seem a little older, but I didn't think about it much.
       Jennifer Ehle was a wonderful Elizabeth Bennet. She was very graceful and refined, and had spunk and a sense of humour. She was really pretty, I loved her smile. She laughed less the Kiera Knightley I think and seemed a bit more put together.
       I'll admit, I did like them both. The 1995 Elizabeth was more true to the book, I agree. But, I do like the more youthful twist the the 2005 version put on her.


         
   
Mr. Darcy.... 

       1995 Darcy was more true to the book. Which is why I absolutely loathed him the first half of the movie. He was so proud and arrogant, completely disrespectful to others, and grrrrr..... But the second half of the movie he was kind, and pleasant even. Everytime Elizabeth totally miffed him, I was cheering her on. 
        I feel the movie showed very little character development, it was more of "You peasant.", to "I just want to make you happy." There wasn't really a gradual change, he did seem to hide it well, but his attitude completely changed. It seemed a bit odd, but I was fine with it. He does look like a good Mr. Darcy, with that little smirk. His eyes are like adorable puppy dog eyes whenever he looks at Elizabeth in part two, so adoring. 
      2005 Darcy was more of my kind of Darcy. He was proud, but he was also shy. It wasn't like he was completely unfeeling and inconsiderate. He was kind of awkward, and unsure of how to act. He smiled a bit more, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the 95 Darcy ever had a full out 'see all the teeth' smile. 
      Now, remember that Jane Austen herself wrote that he said he could improve talking to new people with practice. This seems to hint that he must have been a bit shy or awkward. 1995 Darcy seemed more to not want to meet new people, where the 2005 version made him seem also not sure how to. He still looked down at them, but he was also shy, otherwise he might have been more considerate and respectful. I think the script writers played more off the hint at him being shy, and they did make it a much more major part of his personality that Jane probably intended. They focused on it, and a little less on his arrogant side. 
     I completely understand I cannot make my own Darcy, picking and choosing which characteristics of him I like. If that happened, he would have a more teasing nature and a fine understanding of muslin. *coughcough* 
       
       
 

       Although I've been kind of undecisive on my favourite Elizabeth and Darcy so far, I do have an opinion on Jane.
          1995 Jane was sweet, and quiet. She was fairly pretty, and I've heard that she was considered very pretty in regency standards. I did like her a lot. She and Elizabeth were best friends, and I liked how she would open up more with her sister, and how she was patient with her mother.
       
         Sorry 1995 fans, but Rosamund Pike as Jane absolutely STOLE MY HEART!!!! She was sooooo adorable and sweet. She was an absolute picture of grace and innocence. I loved her, did I mention that? In my opinion, she is a perfect Jane. I'm going to stop writing about her, because I'm just going to keep gushing on and on about home much I adore her.

 
 



      In the 2005 version I didn't really like Mr. Bingley. He seemed rather stupid to me. He grinned all the time, but looked like a fool. He was awkward and silly. But I thought, ok, I suppose him and Jane are kind of cute together. (mostly because I loved Jane so much.)
      Mr. Bingley 1995 was awesome. He was kind, and polite, and he did smile a lot, but he didn't look like an absolute fool while doing it. I actually liked him better than Darcy for the first half of the movie. He was even nice to Mrs. Bennet, when she was practically shouting that he was rich and her daughter would marry a rich man. He was adorable, and I liked how he also stood up to Darcy a bit, and called him out on his grumpiness. I did like him and the 95 jane together, but I think him and the 2005 Jane would also be adorable together.

           There were so many more characters in the 1995 version! 2005 left out so many, I'm not sure why. But, I'm going to be focusing on the ones that were in both films.

     



           I'm going to start out by saying, why can't they find a 15 year old actor for Lydia? Is it really that hard? Both actressses were over five years older than that. Julie Sawalha was older than Jennifer Ehle! Granted, I'm not saying they did horrible portrayals of Lydia. 
     I loved the 1995 Lydia. She was absolutely silly, I loved her snort laugh (possibly because I also snort laugh), and how she would go ooohhhh-ooooh. She was completely immature and unproper, the perfect Lydia. 
     I don't know how well Jena Malone could have portrayed Lydia. She did a good job I think, although I prefer Julie. I think because of the time restraints she wasn't able to be a very deep character. We didn't get to see exactly what she was like. She mostly giggled the entire film, like Kitty. Well, for Carey Mulligan (Kitty) it was her first film, so she did pretty good considering. 

  



  Mrs. Bennet in the 1995 version was so hilarious. I either burst into laughter or winced pretty much everytime she was on screen. She was so loud, and boisterous. "My poor nerves!" I loved her banter with Mr. Bennet (poor Mr. Bennet), and how she told her sister she tried to warn the girls about Mr. Wickham, but no one would listen to her. 
    Mrs. Bennet in the 2005 version was more realisitic I suppose. I could imagine seeing a mother like her now days. She was a little less ridiculous in social situations.
   Overall I liked both versions of her, though the 1995 Mrs. Bennet was definitely funnier. 
  

 


      Mary Bennet didn't really have much to say in the 2005 P&P. She was much more developed in the 1995 version. I got to hear much more of her personality. I shipped her and Mr. Collins so much, but alas it was not to be so. She lit up every time she was around him. She was a very interesting character, adn her comments never failed to make me chuckle.
      I only have one critique of her. I think they might have been trying a little too hard to make her seem really out of place, and simple. She had such dark circles under her eyes, she was the only sister to have a bad complextion. It seemed kind of odd that she would look so different to her sisters, but I think it was supposed to reflect her personality.







     
















  Mr. Collins was a very interesting character. In the 1995 version he was much more annoying, and slimey. He didn't just seem strange and awkward, he was downright slimy, and I think he knew what he was doing. He purposefully kept insulting Elizabeth after she declined his marriage offer. He was funny though, especially when attempting to ride carriages!
        Mr. Collins was really funny in 2005. He was so solumn and serious. I know he was shorter than he was supposed to be, but he still was pretty great. I always quote him, "What excellent boiled potatoes." Haha!!!! He was slightly less annoying, he didn't ramble on baout Catherine De' Bourg so much. Which makes him a little less true to the book, but there also wasn't enough time for him to be rambling about the excellent chimney at Rosings.
       
 

     Charlotte Lucas was a plain lady, sensible, and very unromantic. She was a good friend of Elizabeth's, and also friends with Jane.
        In the 1995 version, I feel like she was a little less talkative. I also thought she wasn't that friendly to Elizabeth. Maybe Mrs. Bennet convinced me, but she seemed not to really like Elizabeth, especially before she was married... I don't know, she just came off that way to me. I did like her though. It was so funny how she found ways to keep Mr. Collins out of the house.
           2005 Charlotte sseemed a more realistic friend. She joked a little with Elizabeth, and generally seeed to enjoy her company more. I liked the way she portrayed the desperateness of a spinister.
     
       












         The devious Mr. Wickham! I almost forgot about him... Oops.
      In the 1995 version, he seemed a little old to me. Adrian Lukas was 38 when he played him, and I personally found that a bit too old. In the novel he was supposed to be somewhere in his mid to late twenties. I thought he looked sneaky from the very beginning, if I do say so myself. I think he was supposed to be more charming, and Adrian didn't really deliver. He did act quite well, but I don't know his expressions were slimy!
      I like the 2005 Wickham better. He was younger, more charming and dreamy. He was handsomer, which I think he was meant to be. He was such a vixen, I hated him. We didn't get to see his relationship with Elizabeth quite as much, especially after Lydia's marriage, but again, time restraits.




 

     
        Last but not least, Mr. Bennet!
        I think I like the 1995 Mr. Bennet better. He was far more sarcastic, (and shall I say well groomed?) He definitly prefered Elizabeth to all his other daughters. I loved the scene where he tells Elizabeth about the rumour of her getting engaged to Mr. Darcy. And the many scenes where he would roll his eyes at her, about Mrs. Bennet.
         I loved the soft, caring side of 2005 Mr. Bennet. I especially adored the scene where he talked with Elizabeth about her engagement. He cried, awwwwwwwwww!!!!! I also liked the scene where he comforted Mary at the party. He also was witty in some scenes, but they focused more on his soft side I think.

      I want to briefly mention the Bingley sister. I know only Caroline was in the 2005 version. I think I prefer the 1995 Caroline. She was more spiteful, and I liked how we got to see her trying to slime her way into all Jane's business.
       Quite frankly I didn't miss the other sister in the 2005 version. She didn't have that much to say, besides agreeing with Caroline. But of course, it's always disapointing when they leave out a character.
 
         Costumes:
   
     The 1995 movie had much more historically acurrate costumes. I'm not actually the biggest fan of all regency clothes. I like some, especially the costumes in Northanger Abbey, and Emma, and Sense & Sensibility. These costumes weren't my favourite. I did really like the jackets for the girls though, and a lot of the guy's outifts.
      The hairstyles in 1995 were quite a bit better. All the men had pretty good haircuts, and so did most of the girls. I did not like Jane's hairdo. The curls were a bit too much! I guess the curls in the front were the fashion, but still, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Kitty managed to look better with them.

    The 2005 costumes were historically inaccurate. The costume designer and Joe Wright wanted to distinguish it from the 1995 version and make it different. Wright also didn't like empire waists, so she decided that the best thing to do would be to make the waistlines lower and more corseted.
     I really appreciated the special touches that were put in. All the girls wore dresses the matched with their personality. Mary wore dark colours. Elizabeth wore earthy colours, to match with her love for nature. Jane wore delicate colours, to match with her graceful and innocent nature. Some of her costumes are my favourite costumes. Lydia and Kitty wore brighter colours. Also, she tried to make them match in every scene. If Lydia wore a green dress, then she would make Kitty wear a green jacket.
      I think that some of the dresses looked a bit shabby. The Bennets were not well to do, but they still weren't poor. Also I think most of the characters looked like they could have a good haircut. *coughMr.Bennetcough* Most of the men in the 1995 P&P had much better hair. I did like the whimsical look for Jane's hair, especially the lavender sprigs in it in one scene, even though it wasn't historically accurate. Yes, Elizabeth could've done well to fix her hair better. I agree with that wholeheartedly. She probably wouldn't go walking around with her hair down. Although I think it was kind of pretty.
    I must mention Caroline Bingley's ball gown. The moment I saw it, I was skeptical. It looked very modern and risque for that time period. It was a big no-no. There are a few regency painting with sleeveless gowns, but her looked more like a petticoat.

     Scenery:
 
    The Bennet's house in 2005 was much smaller and less fancy the 1995 one. I think it was a little bit too small, and the front yard was very unkept, they weren't that poor. But I have to say, the scenery (beside's their house) was breathtaking. The camera angles and creativity beat 1995 by a lot. But, we also have to remember this was ten years later, so it is expected the quality and such would be better. The rocks scene was amazing, as was her walking pretty much anywhere. Gah....

    I thought it a little odd that Mr. Darcy's face kept popping up in unexpected places. The window of the carriage, the mirror. It was supposed to be creative flashbacks, and it was pretty good considering when the movie was made. But it still wasn't very good compared to the 2005 scenes.

    Soundtrack:
   
    I'm don't mean to put the 1995 version down, but 2005 has completely beat it for the soundtrack. I am addicted to it. If I had to choose one soundtrack to listen to for the rest of my life, Pride & Prejudice by Dario Marionelli would win in an instant. It is completely stunning. I love playing it on the piano too, I could play it all day.

     Scenes:
   
      Pride and Prejudice 2005 leaves out a lot of scenes. It only makes sense considering it is 3 and a half hours shorter than the 1995 version. The directors wanted to focus on Darcy & Elizabeth, so you see a lot less of the side characters. It's kind of a shame, but we can't really blame the directors, they had to cut stuff, so they cut what they deemed less important I guess.
       There are three scenes in P&P 2005 that I missed in the 1995 version. The scene with Darcy and Georgiana, before they see Elizabeth. Also the part where she meets Georgiana and she banters with Darcy a little bit. I loved the look she gave him and Elizabeth (total shipper look). I am such a big sucker for movies that show the relationship between family members.
       The other scene I missed, was the one where Mr. Bingley was rehearsing his proposal with Mr. Darcy. It was so adorable to see how nervous he was. Even if he was a poor subsitute for a Mr. Bingley.
         The final scene I missed, well it wasn't really a whole scene but whatever, was the one between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. She didn't really tell him what Darcy had done for them in the 1995 version, and he cried in the 2005 version!!!! AWWWW. Also when Darcy smiles at Elizabeth when he comes out of her father's office.

    Ok, now I must adress the pajamas thing. Yes, it was rather silly, I agree. Especially that they didn't change before they went to her father. I can kind of get the point that she couldn't sleep, and didn't want to bother to get completely dressed before she went for her walk. She didn' think she would meet anyone after all. And the scene where Catherine DeBourg comes, and they're all in their pajamas... Well in the 1995 version when the express message comes, they all rush down in their pajamas. It showed the urgency and unexpectancy of the it all. I think it was kind of the same for Catherine DeBourg's coming. She had travelled all day, leaving the moment she got the report, and would not even wait the night before seeing Elizabeth. Yes, it wasn't true to the book, but they were trying to heighten the urgency of it all I think.
    It's kind of silly of me, but I did think the proposal was kind of nice. Not perfectly Austeny, but still kind of nice. Even though they're in their pajamas. Sorry... It's probably the beautiful sunlight streaming behind them, and the morning scenery, and the perfect camera angles. I do think it was silly that her response was, "Your hands are cold."

     1995 had a lot more scenes, and a lot more characters talking. I liked that we were able to see more about Wickham, and also the scenes where Darcy was searching for him. We got to see how ignorant Lydia was to everyone's distress, and the seriousness of their elopement.
      One thing I was sad they left out, was the quote, "What are men to rocks and mountains." I really liked that quote!!!
      I loved the wedding scene... Man and wife, and man and wife. Gaww.

    So let me sum up all my thoughts.
       The 1995 version was much more true to the book. We got to see a lot more characters that were left out in the 2005 version, and also see more in depth the characters that were included in both. It had more scenes, which makes sense as it was six hours long. It was also more historically acurate. I prefered a couple of the 2005 actors better, but then again I loved their choice of casting.
        The 2005 version seems like a bit more watered down version. The characters are more mild. Nevertheless, I really do like it. I think it may be because it was what introduced me to Austen. (See there is something you strictly 1995 fans can appreciate about it.) It was less historically accurate, I think because the directors wanted it to be different than the 1995 version. They didn't want to redo it, because they appreicated it, they wanted something unique. The scenery was gorgeous, and so was the soundtrack. It was much less formal, again less true to the book.

     I truly can't say which I prefer. I think I would like to watch the 1995 more, if I had the time, but since the 2005 version is only 2 hours long, it is much more convenient when I'm busy. Both are masterpieces, even if they interepret so differently. I think this picture sums up my thoughts.

     *ducks as the battle begins* Joking, joking. I'm down for a good debate. I hope I haven't offended anyone, this is just my opinion, and we're all subject to our own. Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!
 
     Sincerely,
     Rachel R.
       
 

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