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Pride & prejudice - Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Judi Dench, Joe Wright

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Sometimes the last person on earth you want to be with is the one person you can't be without.

The glorious world of Jane Austen is at last brought back to the big screen in all its romance, wit and emotional force in Pride & prejudice. The classic tale of love and misunderstanding unfolds in class-conscious England near the close of the 18th century. Faithful to the setting and period of the beloved novel and filmed entirely on location in the UK, this is the first movie version of the story in 65 years.

The five Bennet sisters - Lizzie (Keira Knightley), Jane (Rosamund Pike), Lydia (Jena Malone), Mary (Talulah Riley) and Kitty (Carey Mulligan) - have been raised well aware of their mother's fixation on finding them husbands and securing set futures. The spirited and intelligent Elizabeth, however, strives to live her life with a broader perspective, as encouraged by her doting father.

When wealthy bachelor Mr Bingley (Simon Woods) takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. Amongst the man's sophisticated circle of London friends and the influx of young militia officers, surely there will be no shortage of suitors for the Bennet sisters. Eldest daughter Jane, serene and beautiful, seems poised to win Mr Bingley's heart. For her part, Lizzie meets with the handsome and - it would seem - snobbish Mr Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), and the battle of the sexes is joined. Their encounters are frequent and spirited yet far from encouraging. Lizzie finds herself even less inclined to accept a marriage proposal from a distant cousin, Mr Collins (Tom Hollander) and - supported by her father - stuns her mother and Mr Collins by declining.

When the heretofore good-natured Mr Bingley abruptly departs for London, devastating Jane, Lizzie holds Mr Darcy culpable for contributing to the heartbreak. But a crisis involving youngest sister Lydia soon opens Lizzie's eyes to the true nature of her relationship with Mr Darcy. The ensuing rush of feelings leaves no one unchanged, and inspires the Bennets and everyone around them to reaffirm what is most important in life.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Pride & prejudice image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film UK England romance drama classic Jane Austen love class system country Mister Darcy London

Persons of interest

  • Keira Knightley .... Elizabeth Bennet
  • Matthew MacFadyen .... Mr Darcy
  • Brenda Blethyn .... Mrs Bennet
  • Judi Dench .... Lady Catherine De Bourgh
  • Rupert Friend .... Mr Wickham
  • Tom Hollander .... Mr Collins
  • Jena Malone .... Lydia Bennet
  • Carey Mulligan .... Kitty Bennet
  • Rosamund Pike .... Jane Bennet
  • Talulah Riley .... Mary Bennet
  • Donald Sutherland .... Mr Bennet
  • Simon Woods .... Charles Bingley
  • Jane Austen .... Author
  • Lee Hall .... Screenwriter
  • Deborah Moggach .... Screenwriter
  • Joe Wright .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I was surprised by this version of Pride & prejudice, especially because I enjoyed it. "That BBC miniseries" which everyone knows put a spin on the tale that is hard to ignore when watching any other version - Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are the faces which spring to mind whenever I think of Mr Darcy and Miss Bennet so seeing the 10-years-younger Matthew MacFadyen (whom I will always think of as MI5's Tom Quinn) and Keira Knightley in the same roles requires a huge mind-shift but you know what, it works; and it's probably more accurate as people married a lot younger than they do nowadays.

One thing I particularly liked was the generous amount of dirt about the place. The country (as opposed to the city) is full of dirt - I've been there, it's everywhere: dirty paths, dirty fields, dirty gardens, dirty yards... and you don't want to know about the mud! It's in and against this... um... grime that romance blossoms and blooms because, as our two lead characters know, the world is a dark and heavy place into which the lightness of love comes only with difficulty.

Um... I think I've been listening to too much old-fashioned dialogue.

See this Pride & prejudice, it's worth it.

Security censorship classification

G

Surveillance time

127 minutes (2:07 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 20 October 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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