Think about a film that has been remade or reimagined. What were the differences? Which one was better?

I am a big fan of Jane Austen’s books, which were written in the early 1800s. When I was in high school, I received an enormous 1000+ page book with her entire collection of novels. I used to lug that book everywhere, from ski trips in the winter to beaches on summer vacation.

Whenever my mom and I had a night on our own, without our dad and brother home, we would sit down and watch a movie based on one of Austen’s books. There have been many movies made based on her books; “Emma”, “Mansfield Park”, “Persuasion”, and “Sense and “Sensibility” but my favorites are always those inspired by “Pride and Prejudice.”

The first rendition of the book I watched was a four-and-a-half-hour TV miniseries produced by the BBC in 1995. It stars a well-known actor, Colin Firth, as Mr. Darcy. The scenery, architecture and overall atmosphere of the series seemed to be realistic of the time. However, it wasn’t until I watched the Kiera Knightly version, made in 2005, that I realized the BBC version was more idealistic than realistic. The 2005 movie showed the dirt, grime, and poverty of the times much more with actors wearing more simplistic clothing and with more natural-based makeup on.

The same actor, Colin Firth, also played the same character in a more loosely inspired film series called “Bridget Jones Diary”. In these movies, it’s interesting to see the same character but in a more modern everyday environment. The main female character shows many more flaws than the character in the book does but that makes her all the more endearing.

Finally, in university I watched a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice called Bridge and Prejudice. It was the first time I ever saw music and songs put to my beloved story. One of the more disliked characters, Mr. Colins, is usually seen as overly annoying and socially awkward. In the Indian version his awkwardness is taken to a whole different level of being awkward but in a louder and flamboyant way. Instead of despising this character I had to laugh at him with all of his cheesy humor and lines and it made the movie all that more enjoyable.

If I had to choose a favorite from all of them, including the ones I haven’t mentioned I would have to say it is the 2005 Kiera Knightly one. Firstly, the soundtrack of simple but beautiful songs mainly played on the piano are exquisite. I also bought a piano book of the songs so I could play them on my own. The characters of the movie are not as grand as in other movie versions of the book, but I can easily imagine what it was truly like to live during those times. Their hair wasn’t perfectly set and the roads they walked on were made of dirt and it showed on their clothes as I imagine it would if you had to wear them every day. The poor Mr. Colins in this version is also not so annoying as someone you would feel sorry for and hope that, in some way, he could turn around his life for the better.

Saying all that, I wouldn’t recommend these movies, even my favorite one, unless someone was a fan of historical romance drama. In that case I recommend looking up a list of the different movie versions of Jane Austen’s books and enjoy the subtle differences between them.


enormous (adjective) – very large in size or quantity
lug (verb) – to carry or pull with difficulty and effort
endearing (adjective) – describing someone who is lovable, charming, or affectionate
cheesy (adjective) – not very good or original, and without style, in a way that is embarrassing but funny
exquisite (adjective) – extremely beautiful, lovely or finely detailed with a high level of quality
subtle (adjective) – not obvious; difficult to notice