Jane Eyre – TV Mini-Series 1983

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This adaptation of Jane Eyre came out when I was a baby.  Strange thought.  Anyhow, I was going along at a good pace in reviewing Jane Eyre adaptations, when I came to this TV mini-series.  This one stopped me cold in my tracks for several days.  I started watching it with an inclination to like it, but I just couldn’t.  I finally worked up the gumption to finish it tonight.

Timothy Dalton was alright as Rochester, though he was overly dramatic at times.  And he is a bit too handsome to be cast as Rochester.  Whatever–I could forgive those things.  At least his performance was interesting and conveyed feeling.

I could not get over Jane, however, who was played by Zelah Clarke.  I don’t want to sound mean or anything, but I was bored by her performance.   There was so little variation in her facial expression, tone of voice, and movement that it was painful to watch.  In the rare cases when she does show anger or excitement, her loud exclamations are startling and seem out of character.  Also, there was precious little to make me care about her character or see anything that would attract Mr. Rochester in the first place.  The romantic chemistry was distinctly lacking.

I suppose I can’t blame my dislike of this video entirely on Clarke.  The lighting and shots were funny; most scenes seemed totally contrived and unnatural; it didn’t have a period look to it; the music was cheesy.  I felt like I was watching a soap opera that was trying to tell a classical story.  Not the best combination.

If you’re a Jane Eyre fanatic, you may want to watch this, otherwise I’d say steer clear.  As a funny side note, I checked out other people’s reviews after I had formed my own opinion and found that many people actually like this version.  I can’t understand it, but to each his own!

Rated: NR

Rating: 1 Star


Until next time…






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