I watched Jane Austen’s Persuasion the other day. The version with Ciaran Hinds.
I have loved this movie for years. I remember picking it up once at the rental store and watching it only to fall hopelessly in love. Why? The romance. Yes, yes, I know it’s not your typical romance. It’s not an over the top romantic comedy nor a melodramatic romance. There are no gratuitous displays of affection, no superfluous romantic drivel, no sonnets or music, and nothing that would make a casual observer gawk while muttering, “Don’t make me sick!” or “Get a room!” This movie is, to me, a prime example of romance that is simply portrayed and touching. I have decided to point out several parts of the film that depict romance at it’s most basic form.
– Captain Wentworth asks his sister to allow Anne to ride in the carriage after a long walk. He helps her into the carriage.
It’s so simple, but his gesture of kindness shows that he is thinking of her well-being.
– Their conversation at the concert, and when he storms out in the middle of it, is so revealing. They discuss things that mirror their own feelings and emotions.
It’s their way of measuring the other person’s regard. Is there still a hope of rekindling a lost love? Or has the moment been swept away?
-My favorite, and probably the most touching part, is when he overhears Anne’s conversation with his friend as he writes a letter. Their small debate prompts Captain Wentworth to break his silence and he writes a beautiful letter to her.
Every time Anne and Captain Wentworth are in the same room the tension between the two is palpable. Their eyes and actions speak with more emotion and passion than any dialog ever could hope to convey. Eyes burning with questions and desires. Actions laced with hope and anticipation. Every detail memorized by the other praying for a sign. My heart sighs with every meeting. The attraction and awareness in their faces and movements envelops me and holds me captive. The fact that they have loved each other for so long and still fear rejection is of course a main point of the plot. But it is the anticipation of their reunion that sparks the romantic’s imagination.
I may be a hopeless romantic. But this movie to me is sweet and unencumbered by overacting, unimaginative dialog, and cliched trimmings. It’s heartfelt and at the core, a true romance. How could you not fall in love?
Tell me what you think.