Message in a Bottle....of Rum

Hyperion's Note:
As some of you noticed when you came to visit this week, everything got put on hold due to outside events. I am not ready to talk about them yet, but I do apologize for not running the guest posts as I said I would. I will do my best to make up for that in the coming days. In the meantime, there were a few items posted this week on the other sites I thought you should see.

On Monkey Barn:
Hitchcock Week on AMC
NBC's Monday Night Lineup starts 9/24 - Please watch so Hypie won't cry
Hyperion's Last Requests

On International Day:
September 17 - International Drink yer Kool-Aid Day
September 18 - International Get the Hell out of My Way Day
September 19 - International Foot Massage Day
September 20 - International Guillotine Day
September 21 - International She Walks in Beauty Like the Night Day
September 22 - Doesn't deserve a holiday; day is evil
September 23 - International Run like a Kid Day

On Institutionalized:
Time Capsule Questionnaire

Oh, what the hell. You guys deserve more than my doom and gloom. Let's start the guest posts off now instead of Monday.


[I have asked several friends if they would write a "guest" post for me. Lady Jane Scarlet of Lady Jane Scarlett's Den (not to be confused with Lady Jane Scarlett's Ninja Love House), was first to agree and send me something. As will be true with all of these guest posts, I have not read it beforehand. The guests were given only two rules: when to have it to me, and no advocating child abuse (without a really good reason). With that, let's see what she has to say…..]

I am so pleased to offer you a guest column in Hyperion's Institute. My name is Lady Jane Scarlett and I'm a diehard romantic. The dearth of quality romantic movies lately has been very woeful to my sensibilities, so I've been enjoying catching up on the many movie and TV adaptations of Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice". This column will hopefully serve as a guide to those in search of a quality romantic movie. I promise I'll even read the book soon.

I began my sojourn into "Pride and Prejudice" last year when I watched the 2005 "Pride & Prejudice" with Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyen. Now the release of this version caused many diehard fans of the A&E version to howl with hatred. They hated the & instead of "and", they thought that nobody else besides Colin Firth could portray Darcy with such aloof romantic yearnings. In my opinion, they were wrong. Not only was this version very romantic, it did a lot within the 2 hour time limit. The cinematography was beautiful and the balls were fabulous. I felt this movie did a great job of portraying the nitty-gritty of English country aristocracy. The whole Bennet family was a hoot. Matthew M. usurped Ralph Fiennes' Heathcliff as my Gothic romantic stud muffin. He was smothering, he was brooding, he was passionate, he was principled, he's got that British accent & amazing blue eyes. Gotta love that, right ladies?

I was hooked. I needed to watch as many versions as I could get my hands on. I feel that, at this point, I need to tell you that there is a big swirl about whether Elizabeth and Darcy kiss at the end. For me, I want to them smooch. You'll need to watch these movies yourself to find out if they do.

The next two versions of "Pride and Prejudice" were watched in rapid fashion. I saw the 1980's BBC miniseries version and the Bollywood "Bride and Prejudice". The BBC version was painful to watch-really low cost production; it LOOKED like a cheap TV series. And the 1980's tight perma-hair with empire style dressing hurt my eyes. Darcy was a whiny wimp, and so not handsome. Elizabeth was too smug. Because it was about 6 hours long, there was a bit more character development and a lot more details than is portrayed in the 2005 movie. But, because I disliked the characters so much, I suffered this version.

The "Bride and Prejudice" version was a lot of fun. It was my first Bollywood movie, I didn't know what to expect. When the most beautiful woman in the world plays the role of Elizabeth (here, Lalita), one is not allowed to complain about anything. Ms. Rai was charming, witty and beautiful: everything that you'd expect from Elizabeth Bennet. The musical pieces were fun and bright and great to look at. Don't expect to see much of Ms. Austin's wit or social commentary in this movie though.

Now with a year's hiatus, I recently decided to go after the grand-daddy of the adaptations: the 1995 A&E miniseries version. This version stars Colin Firth as Darcy, and a Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth. This was 5-6 hours long, so I could expect to see a lot more detail in this version. I finally found it at our library and snagged it for the Labor Day weekend, intending to watch an hour a night so I could spread out the series. Well, I immediately was enraptured with this series and watched it over two days. The production was great, the sets were well made and the countryside was beautiful. The characters were immediately enchanting-Jane was soft and sensitive (but IMHO, not as pretty as Elizabeth), Elizabeth was warm and witty and sarcastic. And Colin Firth was made for the role of Darcy. Ladies, if you need a dose of romantic hero, this is the place to go. I absolutely adored Darcy in this version from the start, I could feel his suffering and I wanted to give him a hug and kiss. And they used some of the extra time in the series to flesh out Darcy, which I totally appreciated. He didn't seem like a stone wall who all of a sudden becomes a human. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Darcy was amazing, with all the right proportions of dislike combined with attraction.

So which one is my favorite?

The 2005 movie is a very close second. I think that if the movie could have lasted 6 hours, it *may* have surpassed the A&E version. I am giving top ranking to the 1995 A&E version. I loved everything about it.

Next time I guest-column for Hypey, I may review "Wuthering Heights". Since I did read that book, I am already biased. I don't think that no movie will ever come near the glory of Emily Bronte's writing. But maybe one will come close…

Until then, give smothering looks at your beloved, rip some bodices and enjoy the romance!



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