I Love You Most Ardently

Three months into home quarantine and I found myself hooked (again, and again) on Pride and Prejudice, movie and book. This time, I have been re-watching the 2005 version of P&P every night and day for more than a week already 😳 . Well, everyone who’s known Mr Darcy would not think I’m insane, right? Mr Darcy has totally set the standard of women’s expectation of men for centuries. Quite an impossible standard, I must admit 😀 . For those of you who are familiar with Mr Darcy, I’m sure you know what I mean.

The first time I watched P&P it was the 1995 version with Colin Firth as Mr Darcy. Do you know that this book has been adapted to 17 movies? Since then I think Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy is my ideal Mr Darcy for as long as I can remember. Then the 2005 version came out. I can’t remember if I watched it full but I do remember seeing some of the trailers. Last week, I didn’t know why, I just felt like watching the 2005 again. The problem was it was soooo difficult to find it online, let alone buying or renting it 🙁 . I nagged Papap for a few days until he gave up and found me one, eventually haha… That is how good my nagging skill is!

After watching one full movie, I was left impressed and curious of the little details in the 2005 story, so I watched again. This time pausing from one scene to another (and that’s why it has been taking me days and nights haha!). Of course Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is all about Elizabeth Bennet. I instantly like Keira Knightly’s version of Elizabeth Benneth as a strong and willful woman, compared to the other Lizzy Bennets. But, Mr Darcy? Oh hell. It’s another story. Do you know there has been a ruthless war between Colin Firth Darcy’s fans and Matthew Macfadyen Darcy fans? Who is the more superior Mr Darcy? I have been a fan of Colin Firth’s Darcy, but this time, I must admit, Matthew Macfadyen’s Darcy is the one Mr Darcy I want for 2020 hahaha…

Let me see. P&P 2005 left me particularly impressed with how Matthew Macfadyen interpreted Mr Darcy. This 2005 version is full of implied codes! Matthew’s face expression, Matthew’s raised eyebrow, Matthew’s deep voice, Matthew’s piercing eyes, Matthew’s sighing, and of course, the most iconic Matthew’s hand flex! The 2005 version delivered the most successful nervous and awkward (and handsome) Mr Darcy who longs for love painfully. I am satisfied! Colin’s Darcy represents the restrained Darcy close enough to Jane Austen’s book, but Matthew’s Darcy is deeper. This Mr Darcy allows us, women audience, to feel one’s agony in suppressing his feeling because circumstances don’t allow. It sucks, right? So, yes, Matthew is the Darcy in all of us.

Okay, now, Mr Darcy aside 😛 I find watching and re-watching movies (and reading and re-reading books) very helpful in learning about plots, characters, characters grow, etc. In P&P 2005, I see how Lizzy’s character grows from despising Mr Darcy to starting to understand and then love him; while Mr Darcy’s character grows from a seem-like arrogant dude to an actually gentle loving man. This gradual growth is a valuable lesson for characters development if you are a writer.

My most favorite detail is the depiction of Mr Darcy as an introvert who struggles to express his feelings and thus is misunderstood. My favorite scenes for this description are when he comes to profess his feelings to Lizzy but ends up complementing a house and, of course, the famous proposal scene when he finally confesses his most ardent love to Lizzy but ends up insulting Lizzy’s family. Nice, eh? Wait until you see the almost-kissing scene that makes us, audience, want to scream ‘what the hell just happened?!

Finally, let’s talk about codes. P&P 2005 is also famous for Mr Darcy’s hand flex shot. It is crowned as one of the most favorite sex scenes in the cinematic history WHILE it is NOT a sex scene at all! How’s that happen? It has a reference to the history and norms around 1700-1800. Imagine that!

Hmm…time to wrap this up or I’ll go on and on and on about Mr Darcy Pride and Prejudice movies. Now is the second week of rerunning P&P 2005 and I don’t see how I will move on from this movie. Not yet. I am now in the phase of (re)reading the novel while comparing it with the movie. To make it worse, I take notes while reading and watching. Yes, I am that weird; I take notes when I watch movies and read books 😀 . So, I think my annual leave and home quarantine are guaranteed to be best utilised.

Now, tell me, which Mr Darcy is your Mr Darcy?

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