At a social in a small Hertfordshire town, the Bennet family meet the dashing Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) through their connection to his friend, the wealthy Mr Bingley (Simon Woods), and it leads to Mrs Bennett (Brenda Blethyn) spotting an opportunity for one of her daughters to be married off. But at the social when Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) they end up antagonising each other. But as time passes they find themselves brought together time and again and the initial opinions of each other begin to change but life is never simple.
I would imagine that "Pride & Prejudice" does the job intended which to me appears to be to focus on the romantic side of Jane Austen's novel and deliver a commercially appealing love story set in the Georgian period. As such we have Keira Knightley looking beautiful and acting forthright whilst Matthew MacFadyen attempts to deliver brooding whilst being tall, dark and handsome. And I am confident there are many who absolutely love this focus on the love story side of Austen's novel and at the same time enjoying the cinematic representation of the Georgian era done in a mainstream appealing manner rather than one which puts more focus on authenticity.
But whilst I can appreciate why this adaptation of "Pride & Prejudice" has its fans, and I admit it is beautiful, I am by no means one of those fans. And the reason why I struggle to be enthusiastic is that it feels generic. From the look which mirrors other mainstream period dramas to Keira Knightley's performance and MacFadyen ending up bland rather than brooding it just failed to grab my attention let alone keep it. In some ways I reckon you could splice this version of "Pride & Prejudice" together with any other period drama from around 2005 and come up with another movie as it has that style which doesn't stand out.
But here is the thing which actually irks me the most about this version of "Pride & Prejudice" and whilst I am not a huge lover of literature I have recently read Austen's "Pride & Prejudice" and this movies discarding of the social structure aspects of the story makes it half a movie. Yes the romance is what this adaptation is all about and what audiences seem to like but for me it makes it all on one level.
What this all boils down to is that "Pride & Prejudice" is a solid, typical production of a period storyline which clearly aims to have a mainstream appeal for those seeking a period love story. But it didn't blow me away and in truth ended up a generic movie with a style far too similar to other movies.