WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.
Persuasion by Fiona Finlay (Producer) and Roger Michell (Director)
Type: Classic, Historical Fiction
Basic Plot: Ann was once persuaded by friends and family to not marry a man because at the time he was poor. Though years have passed, she still deeply loves him despite the fact that it looks like he no longer cares at all for her.
Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: I believe that Persuasion has several interesting ideas presented throughout the plot for one to think over. It moved at a good pace and had most of the books content. I do believe the story could have been more detailed in certain ways, but that was more of Jane Austen’s fault than the writers. Persuasion is one of her shorter books.
The only bad thing about the plot was some of the awkwardness of the romance. The only really romantic scene between the main characters is made awkward because of an audible circus in the background, and the walk home because they are walking through literally deserted streets that had people in them only seconds ago. Other than this, the plot was smooth and natural.
Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The actors and actresses portrayed the characters very realistically. They act in the way that annoys you because you’re supposed to hate that character, their loud, obnoxious, or argue, always in a believable realistic way. Sometimes it was realistic to the point of maybe being too real, as some of the stories charm just may have been taken away because of it, but other than that the realness really can be appealing.
Scenery and Costumes: 2½/5 Below Average: The scenes were simple. Furniture and articles around the house were things one could easily see at a thrift store, and they looked old and homemade.
This may seem cruel, but if you are looking for extremely handsome and beautiful characters with detailed, bright costumes, you will be disappointed. No cruelty is intended, but the people, costumes, and make up chosen for he movie were not attractive.
Some may appreciate the simple clothes and homes as being realistic and simple, as this was probably what the time era actually looked like on a regular basis, but it does steal some of the romance from the era.
Music: 3/5 Average: There was not a lot of music, and most of it was just simple piano playing. One lady sang an Italian song that was quite beautiful, though.
Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The moral of the story and the philosophies discussed are not as strong as the book, but are still throughout. The moral of the book was that status and wealth do not determine whether a person is agreeable or a good person. Anne’s family is obsessed with hanging around rich, high ranking relatives, while Anne believes intelligent if poor people are better companions. She is mocked for this, but she still is firm in her kindness and association with them. The movie has this as well, though it is not as emphasized as it could have been. This is a good moral, as we can not fully judge the character of a person because of how much money they have or what position in society they may have.
Overall: 3/5 Average: This Jane Austen movie is one that either will be appreciated for its simple, realness or hated for it. It is more likely it will be hated than loved, which is perfectly understandable. Out of all the Jane Austen movies I have seen, I probably found this one the worst one, as it has the least romance and fantasy about it.
Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 2½/5 Brief Nudity and Suggestive Content: A few dresses are low in the front and slightly low in the back. A statue of a naked man is shown for a few seconds. A man and woman kiss before marriage.
Violence: 1/5 Slight Violence: A boy is mentioned to fall from a tree and hurts his back, collarbone, arm, and face. A girl jumps and hits her head, knocking her out for several days. Men shoot at ducks for hunting.
Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 2/5 Some Misuse: Forms of “damn” are misused three times. “Lord” is misused twice, and God’s name is taken in vain four times.
Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Slightly Emotional Content and Slight Injuries: Characters cry and scream when they see or hear people are injured, and one lady goes completely hysterical. A man’s leg injury is mentioned. A child has scratches and wounds on his face from a tree fall that may be slightly disturbing and wears a cast. Characters are mentioned to have died in the past. War is briefly mentioned in numerous ways, though not described or shown. “Death” is used for descriptive purposes.
Religious Issues: ½/5 Brief Mention: Parishes and curates are both mentioned. Atheist are briefly mentioned to have been at a certain activity.
Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: Poetry that contains magic is briefly mentioned (such as “The Lady of the Lake”) though what is in the poems is only recited once or twice. Magic is almost always lacking in the recitations.
Others: Characters smoke and appear to drink alcohol a couple of times. Characters talk about dancing and once actually dance.
Overall: Unless you have a way to cut out the nude statue, I don’t recommend this movie. If there is a way you can cut it out, then I can suggest it as morally acceptable for all ages.