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Persuasion (2022)

This Netflix original movie is based on the classic Jane Austen novel, Persuasion. Persuasion follows the story of a woman named Anne Elliot who was persuaded away from marrying a man who she was madly in love with. Nearly 8 years after their relationship ends, they meet again, and Anne suffers under the weight of regret and her unresolved feelings. Although it remains extremely passionate and moving, some claim this novel is Jane Austen’s saddest work, as it delves into the “...torment of silence...” (Morrison). This movie is a more contemporary take on this classic novel. Like many movies, the reviews were extremely mixed. Lauren P states, “Really enjoyed this refreshing take on a period drama,” whereas Joy L claims the story lacks as, “A pouty millennial mourns the death of a former romance until the guy returns so that their mutual awkwardness can transform that fading spark into a dim eco-bulb of Georgian-era admiration. Drivel dressed up as a period piece,” (Rotten Tomatoes). As a lover of the 2005 Pride and Prejudice and an avid period piece consumer, I had high expectations for this movie and knew what I wanted to get out of it. It did not come close to meeting them.

The following paragraphs contain spoilers for this movie.

Although I originally had hope for this movie, I did not enjoy it. The filming locations were absolutely gorgeous, but I had a problem with almost everything else. I’m usually okay with and even enjoy movies based on novels that remix the plot a bit, however, this was too much. It was modernized in a way that made the dialogue almost unbearable in parts and evaporated any ounce of chemistry between the characters that were supposed to be madly in love. With lines varying from “We’re worse than friends, we’re exes,” to “Because he is a ten,” I was not a fan. The music was also lacking in that the modern pop songs did not flow with the setting or emotions that the audience was supposed to be feeling. There were attempts to make the story more comedic instead of melancholy, but they don’t flow well and reduced the audience’s connection to the characters, especially Anne. In order to make up for this lack of connection and lack of understanding of her emotions, Anne breaks the fourth wall constantly in order to either explain her situation, wallow in self-pity, or just wink. This attempt to make the story and characters more understandable and relatable ended up feeling a bit lazy and cheap. I would have rather seen flashbacks to Anne’s relationship with Captain Wentworth in order to understand their relationship and see their chemistry.

Despite my aggressive criticism, there were some parts that I enjoyed. Anne’s interactions with her nephews were adorable and showed a side of her character that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I also thoroughly enjoyed Mia McKenna Bruce’s performance as Mary Musgrove. Her character was absolutely insufferable and made watching this movie worth it. If you are looking to watch this movie for something to do, or for some average drama and romance, I would say go for it. If you are tempted to watch for literally any other reason, whether it be Jane Austen, Dakota Johnson, or swoon-worthy material, I would recommend searching elsewhere.

Works Cited

Morrison, Robert. “'Persuasion', the Most Moving Love Story Jane Austen Ever Told, Turns 200.” The Wire, 9 December 2017, Accessed 16 September 2022.

“Persuasion.” Rotten Tomatoes, Accessed 16 September 2022.

“Persuasion (2022).” IMDb, Accessed 16 September 2022.

“Persuasion (2022) - Mia McKenna-Bruce as Mary Musgrove.” IMDb, Accessed 16 September 2022.

Elizabeth Bentley is a senior at Poudre High School, and this is her first year at the Poudre Press. She writes a blog that you can check out here!

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