This week’s film at the D’Angelo PAC will be the widely loved story of “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 book.
The film is directed by Cary Joji Fukunag, starring Mia Wasikowska, of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester, as well as Dame Judy Dench playing the part of the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax.
The story takes place in 19th-century England when Eyre flees Thornfield Hall, a large and isolated estate where she was working as a governess for a young girl named Adèle Varens who was under the custody of the brooding and dark Rochester, Thornfield’s master.
Thornfield’s, as well as Rochester’s, daunting nature wears Eyre down and severely tests her spirit.
At the age of 10, Eyre was mistreated and abused and kicked out of her childhood home by her Aunt Reed, forced to live a life empty of love and affection.
She went to a charity school and ran into further harsh treatment; however, she was able to receive an education.
Through this she met Helen Burns, a kind and soulful person, and the two became dear friends. Eyre was devastated when Burns became fatally ill and died, but this encouraged Eyre to consciously only make decisions for herself.
As a teen, Eyre arrived at Thornfield Hall and was treated with kindness and respect from the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax.
Rochester caught Eyre’s interest with his games of wit and captivating stories and revealed some of his deepest thoughts.
He proposed to Eyre, but as they were about to exchange vows, Eyre is troubled by the strange events happening in the attic, which was strictly off-limits.
Upon finding out the secret that Rochester had been hiding his insane wife in the attic, she flees.
After leaving Thornfield, Eyre was taken in by a minister, St. John Rivers, and his family. Shortly after, Eyre discovered that her uncle died and left her 20,000 pounds.
She also uncovered that the Rivers family was, in fact, her cousins. When St. John proposed to Eyre, she refused and hurried back to Thornfield in pursuit of the man with whom she is in love, Rochester.
Upon her return, she found it burnt to the ground by Rochester’s deranged wife who died in the fire.
Rochester was blinded and lost one of his hands in the tragedy. Eyre goes to his new home where the two rebuild their relationship and marry.
A New York Times review of the film says, “It trims and winnows some of Brontë’s empurpled passages, preserves important elements of the author’s language, including, above all, Jane’s repeated invocations of freedom as an ethical and personal ideal.”
The film tells the revered tale with vigor and a smart sense of emotional detail, yet fails to capture the passion and romance of the book.
Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors/students and free for Mercyhurst students with an ID.
The film will be shown at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the PAC.