Since enjoying Downton Abbey I have fallen down the rabbit hole of period pieces in film form, and this one was very intriguing to me, especially as I went on a film tour in Bath and saw where it was filmed.
Persuasion is a book by Jane Austen that follows the story of Anne, a young woman who was persuaded to not marry the man she was in love with, Frederick Wentworth, as he was below her in status. Yet many years later when they are reunited she finds that he is now a naval captain and is most desirable and also single. In the film they both have to deal with their emotions for one another while neither being ready to admit their true feelings, as well as Anne being pursued by her cousin William, who is set to inherit her father’s fortune due to him not having a son.
In the story we meet many interesting characters including Anne herself who speaks directly to the audience at times, which thankfully doesn’t take away from the storyline too much but does feel a bit too forced, especially as a lot of the words she says feel much more suited to a book format than someone speaking them out loud. As well as her sisters, one who is much more part of the story, Mary, who is the comedic relief but also very interesting and gives a different aspect of marriage and motherly life. As well as her father Walter who is vain and that is his main character trait.
I definitely feel the adaptation here is Bridgerton meets Bridget Jones, the storyline is set when it is in the book so it all feels very old timey and nostalgic, however a lot of the conversations and quips and little looks that are given to the audience feel very much more suited for a Bridget Jones style story, especially as Anne has two men ultimately fighting over her and she feels a bit left on the shelf being in her late 20s.
I said in my Bridgeton review that I couldn’t watch it because I found it too modernised for the era, but thankfully that wasn’t the case for Persuasion. I feel part that comes down to the use of language and music and how in this it was very of its time, and while the comedic elements may have felt more modern, the actual storyline that we follow was very set in its time and didn’t try to blur the lines too much. I also thought the characters were very interesting and inviting and there was always something going on that kept you wanting to watch even if it was quite a simple story of a love triangle romance that we have seen many times before.
I would recommend this film if you enjoy period dramas, of course if you like them being very set in stone, much like Little Women, then maybe the more modern elements of the film would take you away from being completely absorbed within it, but I feel those moments were never too over the top that it ruined the storyline and the setting. I really liked all of the characters and the actors suited their parts perfectly and it has definitely opened the door for more Jane Austen films that I may not have watched prior to seeing this one.
What do you think of Persuasion?
Until next time.