Movie Review: Sense and Sensibility


Ang Lee, who directed, and Emma Thompson, who adapted the screenplay, have
done an excellent job of bringing Jane Austen\'s Victorian novel, Sense and
Sensibility, to the movie screen. The movie\'s collection of actors are a joy to
watch as they bring out the emotions of an otherwise polite and reserved era in
time. The production work is top notch with bright, cascading photography that
sets a romantic "I wish I was there" setting. The purpose of the Sense and
Sensibility is to bring out the romance in all of us and show us that Austen\'s
philosophy of love exists today as much as it did two centuries ago.
Sense and Sensibility could rightly be classified as a love story, but
that would just scratch the surface of what this movie has to offer. It is also
a period piece, giving us a chance to visit English society in the nineteenth
century. Director Ang Lee brought us to this historic time with beautifully
constructed sets and sites that drop us right into the country cottage of our
heroines. This natural scenery, with its wide sweeping camerawork warps us back
to a time without the loud annoyances of TV and machinery. By this example Lee
sets the stage for the story to begin..
If there is one thing that keeps this movie constantly going is the work
of the superb actors. The talent of the actors suited the roles they played,
and their mastering of the characters bring personality and feeling to the
screen. The story of the movie bases around two of these such characters who
happen to be undergoing the same feelings of love but in strikingly different
ways. Kate Winslet plays the wild, fatally romantic Marianne who cannot control
her feelings. Opposite her is the experienced Emma Thompson who plays the
reserved, intelligent Eleanor who is far more sensitive than she ever lets on.
These two sisters embark on a romantic adventure that finds them searching for
the right man. The two actors compliment each other with their opposite nature
which balances the story perfectly.
Yet, as wonderful as these two characters are, Alan Rickman\'s Brandon is
the core of Sense and Sensibility. His performance is eloquent and beautifully
controlled but you can tell the torment he fights inside. His voice may be
confident and steady, but his eyes alert you to his true emotions. Brandon\'s
heartache touches you at the core but this heartache makes him more regal
because of his perseverance.
Hugh Grant compliments this array of actors by giving the film some
classical slapstick comedy. He fits perfectly against the reserved Emma
Thompson who will occasionally bring out that wide smile after one of Grant\'s
humorous anecdotes. Grant brings just enough charisma to his character of
Edward to bring a little excitement to the movie.
Although the film did not need use the blockbuster special effects of
more recent movies, they satisfy the needs of the movie and there are no errors
to distract the moviegoer. By doing this Ang Lee forced the watcher to envelop
themselves into the emotions of the actors and not glitzy special effects. The
story sweeps you away, and the added quality production work was just bonus to
an already outstanding film. All the pieces of the film all seemed to fit in
place and this is thanks to the work of the director. Ang Lee made sure that
everything was perfect, from the historic costumes to the accents of the actors.
This is also a compliment to Emma Thompson who had the trouble of constructing a
screenplay that would honor the book, but would also move at a fast enough pace
to entertain the reader.
Sense and Sensibility shows us exactly what a movie should be. The
movie\'s witty romanticism helps illustrate the Victorian era whose love is not
so different from our own. This success is due to the actors who brought the
story to a personal level. Without them we would not have felt the emotions of
the characters, which made us long to love as they did.

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