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Friday, October 13, 2006

The Sounds of Quiet

I think this is a lovely tribute to the novel and to Ruth Wilson, from an article on Jane Eyre 2006 from the Belfast Telegraph:

Some writers describe [Jane] as a timid little thing compared to the masterful and overbearing Mr Rochester, but I have never understood the book that way.

On screen she shows a face both enigmatic and revealing and close-ups show an almost wordless communication with her new employer. She displays a respect tinged with asperity and limits her responses to "Yes, sir" or 'No, sir' while maintaining eye contact, her small smile displaying underlying dignity and seriousness of purpose.

Jane comes over as an indomitable character whose quiet ways hide an intellect at least as good as her master's. It did not take him long to discover that the new governess possessed an inner beauty that contrasted vividly with the glamour and artificiality of the beautiful women expected to appeal to Mr Rochester.

The actress playing Jane conveys all these emotions with an almost deadpan face and in a respectful manner, yet with a little smile on her face and a twinkle in the eye that makes you realise she is not intimidated or overawed. She seems to understand all the foibles of human nature and remain confident about her ability to cope with them.

No wonder Mr Rochester told her '? that look could prise secrets from the blackest soul'. The attraction he felt for her was a love governed by intelligence.

This new production of the book focuses more acutely on the personal interplay between the characters, and the proliferation of close-ups and facial expressions help enormously to make up for the loss of the human voice we deaf people suffer. The words by themselves lack impact unless we can see and feel the emotions, and this televised adaptation of Jane Eyre does it wonderfully.


ChrisV said...

Very nice tribute. Ruth Wilson is so skillful at conveying emotion with just her facial expressions. Have any other Janes even come close to effectively utilizing this type of expression?

kayxyz said...

Yes yes Zelah Clarke is v. skilled. Thanks for the word "torrent" to he-ever said it.