Mansfield Park (1999) is a English movie. Patricia Rozema has directed this movie. Frances O'Connor,Jonny Lee Miller,Alessandro Nivola,Hannah Taylor Gordon are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1999. Mansfield Park (1999) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama,Romance movie in India and around the world.
At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral compass, she becomes especially close to Edmund, Thomas's younger son. Fanny is soon possessed of beauty as well as a keen mind and comes to the attention of a neighbor, Henry Crawford. Thomas promotes this match, but to his displeasure, Fanny has a mind of her own, asking Henry to prove himself worthy. As Edmund courts Henry's sister and as light shines on the link between Thomas's fortunes and New World slavery, Fanny must assess Henry's character and assert her heart as well as her wit.
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For half or two-thirds of its length, I thought this a fair enough movie. True, it's a poor telling of the novel, bits from which are stuck together without the structure of it being clearly conveyed or, apparently, recognized. Also true, it's filled with bad theatrical ideas, such as combining the heroine of the novel with Austen herself (and then casting the role with an actress who can play neither one). And also true, it's played less like an Austenian social comedy than like a half-baked version of Tom Jones. All these things notwithstanding, up to a point it's entertaining enough. (However, "enough" here means, as always in this usage, not quite enough. Halfway through the movie, not seeing much I recognized on screen, I turned to the novel, and found one paragraph of it more involving, amusing, and wise than everything in the movie rolled together. But let that pass.) Then came the Social Significance - as if Austen's novels were not full of social significance. Evidently the adapter disliked the nineteenth century, and Austen, and set out to show them up for what they were. I pretended to miss the insinuation of her father's having molested her and her sister--there being no other interpretation to be placed on the looks exchanged between the two of them and their mother when he gives Fanny a hug. But then Fanny turns up an album of atrocity pictures showing what her (almost) foster father, his son, and his crew were really getting up to with their slaves. This exceeds allowable bounds. Such a device might be imposed on Fielding, or on Dickens, without betraying the author's purpose too far; but not Austen. It obliterates the story, or what's left of it. In the face of rapes and beatings and tortures, who gives a fig whether Miss Price and her Reverend get together? Yet the comedy of manners continues galumphing along as if the scene had never happened. Having forced it in, the adapter makes no changes in the narrative to accommodate it. This is film-making for MTV watchers, i.e. patients with short-term memory loss. Ah - the adapter might counter - but that's just the point! The characters act as if these horrors didn't exist! To which I would reply: if she felt, reading the novel, that the squire was just the kind of man who would have done that sort of thing, white European male pig that he was, and that Austen (owing to her famous ignorance of human nature, which causes her books to continue to be read two centuries later) was too much of a booby to see it, whereas the adapter's own superior sensibility makes all things manifest, she might at least have done Fanny the justice of having her react to the discovery as she would have, given her character. The story turns on her absolute moral rectitude and her rejection of the amorality represented by the Dangerous Liaisons characters. In the face of the dark deeds of which she becomes aware, her denunciation of the others becomes itself amoral and hypocritical, for she has silently acquiesced in the viciousness of her class. This conclusion must be extrapolated, since it is nowhere stated in the film, the adapter not having troubled to stir in the muck she has tossed into the pot. But I can't help wondering, if her object was to discredit Fanny, as well as the monsters around her--if she had so little use for the character as that--why did she choose to do this book?
Maybe it was a mistake to watch this adaption of Mansfield Park the day I finished reading the novel. This production is too modern. Now I understand that they probably wanted to make it "more appealing" to today's moviegoers, and I know that it's hard to fit all a book into a film - but why did they change the essence of who Fanny Price is? She is a highly moral, quiet, smart, very put-upon young lady. While Frances O'Connor is a wonderful actress, she played Fanny all wrong. She was smiling (constantly), having pillow fights, speaking her mind. There was no sense of period or restraint in her portrayal. I think the writer/director should have had more faith in the characters in the book. With so many storylines to choose from in the book, I wonder why new ones were added, such as the slave trade and opium use? It is a shame that Sir Thomas didn't have the character arc seen in the book, that has him appreciate Fanny more and show her greater kindness when he returns from Antigua. In the film he is just always a big, mean bully. Jonny Lee Miller's Edmund is not nearly pious and conflicted enough. He is meant to be joining the clergy. I am sure I would have thought it was an average film if I didn't know the original source, but it was a big disappointment.
It's apparent to me that director/writer Patricia Rozema never decided what genre to use for this film as she's all over the place. The end result is a mass of confusion which attempts to focus on Jane Austen's book "Mansfield Park", biographical sketches of Jane Austen herself, as well as an historical look back at black slavery issues simultaneously and doing none justice. As if all this wasn't bad enough, Rozema couldn't even decide what time period she wanted to use for the movie. It's not just major flaws in the script which has the various characters expressing themselves in ways which would have been much more appropriate for a character of today but also the costumes are all wrong. Many of the characters just seem to exist. As a viewer, I find little character development to make me care one way or the other about most of the cast of characters in this film. Even the leading female and male characters in the film seem lost among the others due to a lack of contrast. Worst of all is the most unimaginative use of narration that I can recall seeing in any film to date. Although this was meant to serve as a transition between scenes and to move the plot along, it fails miserably. There also seems to be a large amount of indistinguishable dialogue in this film that was not intentional. It wasn't until I watched this film with the director's comments which had the actor's dialogue in captions that I even understood what was being said in some scenes despite the fact that I had tried repeated playbacks. They must have have some audio problems. Music for this film was too loud in places and poorly chosen. Speaking of director's comments: Her primary motivation for making this film (according to what she said on the film's DVD version) was a scene which which utilized sexually explicit and violently graphic pen and ink drawings of slaves. Huh? For a Jane Austen film? Yes! Hear the comments yourself in the DVD version.
As a romantic comedy, this is a good film. The acting is fairly good - particularly Johnny Lee Miller, who makes an excellent Edmund. But the story is not that of Jane Austen's wonderful novel. The Fanny Price of the novel is a delicate wallflower, intelligent and warm but extremely timid. In the film, she's feisty and strong-willed, independent and almost rebellious. Fanny Price is not confident and witty; she is shy and thoughtful. This "new" Fanny may fit modern sensibilities, but I was severely disappointed; by completely altering the main character, the whole story seems different. I should very much like to see an adaptation of the novel that remains as faithful to the book as the BBC's excellent mini-series version of Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth / Jennifer Ehle version) or Emma (with Kate Beckinsale, not the Gwynneth Paltrow version). If you want a romantic movie, go for it. But if you're an Austen fan, you might want to stay clear.
I have read many of Jane Austen's novels, which I then follow up by watching the films made from them. They are usually extremely disappointing, so after I had finished reading Mansfield Park and moved on to the 1999 film I wasn't expecting much. What I was expecting was for the film to follow the basic ideas that Jane Austen was trying to convey. This was not the case. From the first five minutes I felt like I must have turned on the wrong movie. William's place was taken by 'Susie', Edmund's role as Fanny's adviser and helper has become a cheesy schoolyard crush, Sir Thomas is some sort of vulgar criminal, and even Fanny herself isn't the modest and shy persona that she is in the novel. Besides not following the basic elements of the story, the actual film is confusing. I am unsure whether the part where Fanny is seen accepting Henry Crawford's proposal was reality or merely a dream sequence. Also, the focus on black slavery seems to me, so out of place as to distract from the actual story at hand. We must remember that, although Fanny Price may seem dull to some, it is what she wasn't and what Austen doesn't make her that makes Mansfield Park so interesting. The worst part of this film, that I saw, was the completely ludicrous sex scene involving Crawford and Mrs Rushworth. At this point, I stopped watching. I find it quite ridiculous that we are encouraged to believe that this would have happened under Sir Thomas' roof. It is believable that these sinful occurrences would be able to be screened by the circumstances in London, however it is evident that Sir Thomas wouldn't have allowed these two to be in the same room together alone in his own home. This completely cheapened the film. As I didn't watch further than this point, I cannot comment on the remainder of the film. I sincerely hope that it did not get any worse, if it is possible that it could get worse. I wonder why so many have decided to take a Jane Austen novel to the big screen with little to no regard for the actual story. It seems more appropriate to make your own films, based on your own inferior story lines, and leave the name of Jane Austen out of it. I feel as though the creators of this film have completely ruined my enjoyment of Mansfield Park (the book) as I am forever doomed to think of this hideous film instead of one of Austen's most entertaining novels. If you have not yet watched Mansfield Park, I urge you not to. Find a better version, if there is one, but do not waste your time with this movie. If you have not yet read Mansfield Park, please take the time to read it as Jane Austen meant it to be and don't let the movie ruin your enjoyment of it.