The Mortal Instrements

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Persuasion [2007]

Front Cover
Back Cover

Personally, I love all of Jane Austen's 6 books. But I have to say, Persuasion has a special place in my heart. This version of the story is a favorite of mine. Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot and Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth did a marvelous job, making us see the pain of rejection, of separation, and of lost opportunities and the hope and happiness of getting a second chance.

-Elizabeth, Anne & Mary-

The story in short is about a young woman named Anne Elliot who fell deeply in love with the handsome young naval officer Frederick Wentworth at the age of nineteen. But with neither fortune nor rank to recommend him, Anne was persuaded to break off her engagement
Eight years later, Anne has lived to regret her decision. She never stopped loving Wentworth, and when he returns from sea with a fortune and rank, she can only watch as every eligible young woman in the district falls at his feet.  

-Anne Elliot-
In the beginning of the movie, you see Anne at age 27, walking around the house, making it ready for its new tenants. You could tell she is sad by the prospect but hides it well. When she hears a carriage arrive, she goes to greet her mother's closest friend, Lady Russell, who has a special affection for Anne. They discuss the financial difficulties made by Sir Walter and his eldest daughter Elizabeth lavish spending.

-Sir Walter Eliot & His 3 daughters-
 They meet them in the garden, Sir Walter and Elizabeth, were with Mr. Clay and his widowed young daughter Mrs. Clay. Who captures Sir Elliot undivided attention, in the prospect of having a male hair. Mr. Clay announces that the new tenants are Admiral Croft and his wife. Mrs. Croft is the sister of Frederick Wentworth. 

Anne is shocked and disturbers by the sudden turn of events. Lady Russell follows Anne and demanded to know what is wrong.

Lady Russell: Anne! Who is Admiral Croft? And why does he cause you to be out of countenance? Anne.
Anne Elliot: Admiral Croft's wife is... is...
Lady Russell: Mrs. Croft.
Anne Elliot: Indeed. And Mrs. Croft is the sister of Captain... Frederick Wentworth.
Lady Russell: Wentworth? I see. I see.
Anne Elliot: To think that soon he may be walking through this house.
Lady Russell: Anne, you know your father thought him a most unsuitable match. He would never have countenanced an alliance he deemed so degrading.
Anne Elliot: He was not alone as I recall.
Lady Russell: My dear, to become engaged at 19, in the middle of a war, to a young naval officer who had no fortune and no expectations. You would indeed be throwing yourself away. And I should have been failing in my duty as your godmother if I did not counsel against it. You were young and it was entirely prudent to break off the understanding.  

But Anne doesn't understand, she writes in her diary before heading to her second sister's house Mary Musgrove who is married to Charles Musgrove, who wanted to marry Anne at first. 

Anne: "is he married? I do not know that he is, and yet, so eligible a gentleman would surely by now formed an attachment. Will he bring his wife here? And his children? I only pray that I am spared any meeting. I know my chance of happiness has passed forever, but to be reminded of it by his presence here would, I’m certain, be more than my spirits could bear.”

Anne then meets Frederick Wentworth again when he comes to visit his sister and pays his respects to the Musgrove family.

Anne: “The worst is over. I have seen him. We have been once more in the same room. A bow, a curtsy, I heard his voice and then, he was gone. He has not forgiven me. I have used him ill, deserted him and disappointed him. And worse, I’ve shown a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confidant temper could not endure.

Once there were no two hearts so open, no feelings so in harmony, but now we are strangers. Worse than strangers, for we may never become acquainted. It is perpetual estrangement. And tonight I’m to be tested once more.”

Frederick then shows a special interest in Charles Musgrove younger sisters, Henrietta and Louisa Musgrove, but he especially makes his advances towards Louisa. Anne is divested to see his courtship and his low opinion of her, made with every word and look. She tries to stay away. But then the party decided to go to Lime.

Anne: “Now I understand him. He can never forgive me. He condemns me still for the past and is becoming now quite attached to another. And yet… still he cannot be unfeeling. He cannot see me suffer without wishing to give relief, to spare the proof of his own good, warm and amiable heart. Which I cannot contemplate without infinite pain and regret.”

In Lime, two main events happen; Anne captures the attention of the sole heir of the Elliot fortune, he cousin, Mr. Elliot. The second is an accident that happened to Louisa on the harbor of Lime. Anne and Fredrick take Henrietta back home and tell her parents about Louisa. You can see that Fredrick’s feelings toward Anne are changing.

Eventually Anne goes to Bath, and find Mr. Elliot, the distant cousin who will inherit her father's wealth and the title there getting to know her family, Mr. Elliot proposes to Anne, and the news upset her father and her sister Elizabeth because both of them wanted Mr. Elliot to propose to Elizabeth not Anne. The only one happy for the news is Lady Russell.

Anne: “I cannot deny the idea of being restored to Kellnch of calling it home again, my home forever, has a charm I cannot immediately resist. And Mr. Elliot is an exceedingly agreeable man and, in many respects, I think very highly of him.”

In Lime, Wentworth confesses to his friend Harry Harville, his changed feelings about Anne and his regrets about Luisa. His friend tells him to go after her after things are settled between him and the Musgrove. Meanwhile Anne receives a letter from Charles announcing an engagement between Louisa and someone. He doesn’t make it clear, and Anne feel hurt. The surprise is when Anne discovers from Mrs. Croft, that Luisa is engaged to James Benwick.

She than encounters Fredrick in a shop while it's raining. They flirt a bit and she invites him to a musical, unfortunately Mr. Elliot interrupts them and Fredrick’s jealousy flares.
Fredrick attends the musical, but Anne cannot make a proper introduction between him and her family or even to speak with him, before the musical begins, Fredrick leaves, Anne follows him, he acts coldly and leaves. Anne than decided to refuse Mr. Elliot's proposal.

The next day, the Musgrove arrive and a letter from Fredrick arrives as well. When he comes, Anne tries to show him how much she cares.

Captain Wentworth: [distressed and avoiding making eye contact] I have been charged by the Admiral... That is Admiral Croft has been confidently informed that Mr. Elliot... That everything is now set in your family for a marriage between yourself and Mr. Elliot. It was added that you were to live at Kellynch. The Admiral wished me to say that if this is the case that his lease will be canceled and he and my sister will find themselves another house... What answer should I give the Admiral
Anne Elliot: You will please thank the Admiral for me, but I must tell you that he is utterly misinformed.
[Capt Wentworth suddenly makes eye contact]
Captain Wentworth: [hopeful] Misinformed? Utterly?
Anne Elliot: Quite mistaken.
Captain Wentworth: No truth in any of it?
Anne Elliot: None.

Wentworth leaves and Anne runs to find him. On her way, her good friend informs her that the young man who wants her hand only wants the title he will get when her father dies, and is currently courting the Mrs. Clay whom it seemed Anne's father might marry. 

Anne gets Fredrick’s letter from Harry Harville and reads with unbelieving happiness and hope blooming in her heart.

Frederick: “Miss Elliot,
I can bear this no longer. You pierced my soul. I’m half agony, half hope. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. I offer myself to you again with a heart more your own than when you almost broke it eight years ago. I have loved none but you. You alone, who brought me to Bath, for you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? I can hardly write. I must go, uncertain of my fate. A word, a look, would be enough. Only tell me that I am… tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever.”

She finds Fredrick talking with Charles; she looks at him they kiss on the street. 

The movie skips to Anne and Wentworth in a carriage, Anne blindfolded. When he takes it off she is standing in front of Kellynch Hall. Wentworth tells her that it is an early wedding present. The film ends with Wentworth and Anne standing in front of their new home, dancing. 

I LOVE how he looks at her here!!

And I would like to think, that they lived happily ever after...
The End.

This is one of the movie's trailers. Hope you enjoy it!

Rupert Penry Jones and Sally Hawkins in the 2007 movie Persuasion

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