After a day of freezing rain, I sat down to watch Part Two of Pride and Prejudice in Masterpiece Theatre with great delight and pleasure. It was two hours of escape to a sunnier (for the most part, a couple of scenes were in winter! bah!) England. Tonight we got to visit the Peak District and Pemberly, and see Darcy make his first proposal to Lizzie.
I so enjoy this version of Pride and Prejudice. All the actors and actresses suit their parts perfectly. Colin Firth's Mr Darcy is almost dark with disdain and pride in the first part. By this version, he is more open and his eyes light up when he sees Lizzie, and he of course is pleasant - talking! - to Lizzie's Aunt and uncle at Pemberly when he first makes their acquaintance. We see the hideous character of Wickham finally revealed, and Darcy in a completely new light, when he writes his letter to Lizzie. This is a crucial part of the story, as, has been expressed in many other places by other readers and critics, we finally get to see Darcy's innermost thoughts, his view of the world, we get to see his passion and his ethics, and that he has great strength of character. And he is proud! But we get to see that Lizzie has been proud too, and how his declaration of love, along with the letter defending himself to her, begins to change her opinion of him. All along, of course, whenever they talk to each other, it is clear they are well-matched and made for each other - their equals. It is a delight to watch Lizzie come to realize this. I was most startled when the episode ended, I was enjoying it so much.
As for Jennifer Ehle, she plays Lizzie exactly as she is written in the book - with a sparkling personality, opinions, wit, charm, someone anyone would want for a best friend (never mind Darcy's wife).
I hope you are enjoying this version as well, Gentle Reader. It is so delightful!