I would say that I ‘loved the look of it, not the feel of it.’ Persuasion is that story book that we girls love to read in our teenage years. Because the idea of ‘love’ is enough in that age when we don’t know the actual meaning of a relationship. We pick up anything that sounds slightly romantic. And then we build our own world around the story thinking this is what it all must look like and happily fall in love with our version of the same story.
When you look at Persuasion, the film, they have adopted a very bookish approach where you actually feel like you are reading the book but here, the pictures are moving. The color combinations, the way the characters speak, the constant talking to the audience (which, in a way, is narration), or the entire feel of it everything takes you back to the summer vacations where you would laze around in the afternoons, read a love story (because hormones), and just get lost in your dream world, especially if the writer paints even the separation a little bright and colorful.
If you think logically about the story, there is nothing romantic about it. Anne lets go of the man she is crazily in love with because her family convinces her to not marry someone who doesn’t earn enough. But then, like every filmy story, they meet again. This time, they reconcile. Persuasion is about their reconciliation. What turns me off is how Anne is open to meeting new men after Frederick Wentworth returns even though the entire story before his comeback focuses on how Anne has not been able to forget him and regrets her decision. But when she is with her, after almost 8 years, she starts blushing the moment another ‘wealthy’ man starts paying attention to her.
If your separation has made you so depressed that you still collect his memories and cry whenever alone, how can you be open to dating someone else after the guy returns? That’s a completely insane storyline.
What happens after the couple, who is still very much in love with each other, meet? Absolutely nothing worth watching. Dakota Johnson still only plays the role of a narrator and Cosmos Jarvis shows no emotion, whatsoever (even after trying hard to).
So, in short, there is no love in this love story. If you want to watch it, watch to enjoy the feel of it. Though I am not sure whether you will like it only because I did. I have never before seen a film that would give me the feel of reading a book where the pictures are moving. I thoroughly enjoyed that part of it. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
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Streaming On: Netflix