Book Reviews

Book Review: Emma – Jane Austen

The Book Meddler holding the complete novels of Jane Austen

The Book

It has always been a goal of mine to read all of Jane Austen’s novels. I read Pride and Prejudice when I was in High School, but that was it and I don’t remember much to be honest. I fell in love with the film, which is still a favorite of mine. Now with the new film adaptation of Emma, I was motivated to read the book first before watching the movie. I mean I have standards right?

At first, I thought it was really slow. A lot of redundant dialogue. But I think that this happened because it’s been so long since I read a classic book and I didn’t prepare myself for such a proper and formal english to be exact. However, I don’t like to think myself a quitter so I kept on reading with an Audiobook so I wouldn’t loose track of what I was reading.

This actually did the trick, and in no time I was reading the book on my own. All I can say right now, is that I LOVED IT. I think I’ve become used to all these mega sexual romances in contemporary literature, that I forgot the beauty of courtship and words. The beauty of holding hands and forbidden kisses.

Let’s talk about Emma Woodhouse. Jane Austen said she brought to life a heroine “whom nobody but myself will much like.” Do I believe it true? Maybe at the beginning she does appear vane and spoiled. However, along the story, you get to experience her internal growth. She becomes a person that faces her enemies with a brave face and someone who defends the ones she loves passionately. She’s basically a person you either love or hate to death. In my case, definitely love.

“I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”

Jane Austen

She kind of reminds me of myself. Proud and decided. Maybe faults, but sometimes a virtue to be honest. Emma stands her ground despite the time period this story was written. This character goes against the status quo in the sense of marriage for instance. Where the ultimate goal was basically marriage, Emma was intelligent to know where she held her real power and that was her father’s house. Unless she fell madly in love of course.

“Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing! but I have never been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall. And, without love, I am sure I should be a fool to change such a situation as mine.”

Jane Austen

On another note,I believe that Mr. Knightley is way sexier than the tons of book boyfriends I’ve ever read. He’s a male in all sense of the word. But I believe the author tried to portray us a modern man for that period of time. I loved how much of a misogynist he appeared at the beginning of the novel, only to become this sensitive man aware of everyone’s feelings and needs. You realize after a while, that no one could marry Emma but Mr. Knightley.

He’s the only man able to see her faults and still surrender to her charms without showing. Mr. Knightley had no fear in bringing up all the things that annoyed him about her. However, he’s the one character that really knew her inside and out, and the only one she could not manipulate.

“I cannot make speeches, Emma…If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.”

Jane Austen

I personally had a lot fun with their banter!

The Film

I think it’s safe to say, that as soon as I finished the book, I sat down and watched the film! I think it was brilliant! The way the actors portrayed each character was amazing to say the least. Right now, I don’t see any other actress playing this role other than Anya Taylor-Joy.

The gestures and manner of walk to begin with, were extremely precise and relevant to this character. I believe she did a great job. Even if some of those gestures where kind of exaggerated, I think it brought in the humor factor.

On the other hand, Johnny Flynn brought to life the sensitivity and confidence that revolves Mr. Knightley. At the beginning, we actually get to watch the process of him getting dressed, involving a nude scene, that I’m pretty sure most ladies will appreciate! Even when he’s declaring his love for Emma, he sheds a few tears. Something unusual for men even in this generation. However, he never seemed less of a male. Just more human and I absolutely loved it!

Overall, they all did a pretty great job. This is a movie with an amazing cast. Oh my God, Mia Goth played Harriett to perfection. She had me laughing more times than I could count!

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