Monday, September 23, 2013

Oh Mr. Darcy

"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
-Mr. Darcy

Well, gee, ummm, okay, sure let's get married. Who doesn't melt into a puddle reading that line? Of course, that was actually what he said before Elizabeth shut him down, but that's a minor detail, moving on now... (Also, I have this quote framed on my gallery wall...NBD.)
Pride and Prejudice is a timeless love story that has given every woman a dream man. Mr. Darcy is cool and calculated. He seems to be an starch-collared, arrogant member of the gentry, yet as you read on you begin to see his softer side. His life experiences have made him hardened, but a woman like Elizabeth Bennett has the power to change his callous nature. Women love Darcy because we want to believe that behind every stern brow is a man who is capable of passionate love and affection. 
I could go into my adoration for Mr. Darcy and Jane Austin's character development (as well as that of several others) for hours...but this is about a far more important matter. This is about how he is portrayed in cinema. Before we go any further, I feel as though I should issue a slight disclaimer: if you have never read the book you might disagree with me because you have no medium to compare it to, but it goes:

Honorable Mention: Martin Henderson from "Bride and Prejudice"
I mean, how can you not love a Bollywood take on this classic? I know I love it. Seriously, go watch it. It's absolutely hilarious and the costumes are amazing! Fun fact: we actually watched this in my AP English Lit class after reading Pride and Prejudice...thanks Mrs. Wydra!

3) David Rintoul- 1980 BBC miniseries
He is an excellently stern Mr. Darcy, however the character never seems to warm up, there is only a sudden change at the end. Also, the BBC acting around this time was a tad bit plastic and feels a bit like a soap opera. Bonus: The actor portraying Mr. Collins delivered the most accurate portrayal I've ever seen. 

2) Matthew Mcfayden- 2005 film adaptation
If you think he should be #1 you probably haven't read the book. If this is the case, you have also never heard the quote from the beginning of this post because it was butchered in that scene where Hollywood thought a rainy rotunda* would do better than the parlor...which I actually thought took away from the emotional tensions present. Also, Darcy should've been more composed, throughout, than in this version...proper decorum mate it hard enough to marry below your class, let alone show such overt emotion.
If you have read the book, I can see how you might want to see a flaw, but being this awkward just isn't Darcy. I guess I just really prefer a prim and proper Darcy a la my #1...

1) Colin Firth- 1995 BBC miniseries
This should never be questioned. Ladies and gents, Firth epitomizes what a Mr. Darcy should be. He is composed and yet there is a sense that he might be a bit less haughty than that appears. Firth just has a way about him that suits him so perfectly for this role. Most people who have seen him here tend to carry this image of him whenever they see him in other movies. There is a reason he was such a perfect Mr. Darcy to Bridget Jones. He really is sensational in this adaptation and I swoon for his Mr. Darcy. Plus, being a miniseries, it actually covers the book pretty thoroughly. 
Oh, and you know, the post-lake scene isn't half bad here ;) (*note: it is okay to slightly alter less crucial scenes)

Who's your favorite Darcy? I can't believe I just dedicated a post to the subject...


P.S. My friend Meghan approved this list, so I know I'm not alone in this...

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