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Jane Eyre
stefani kuo 13 book reviewer
October 12, 2011

The 19th film adaptation of the Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre was released this March to wide acclaim.

Headed by the 21-year-old Mia Wasikowska, star of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the Oscar-nominated The Kids Are All Right, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s version of Jane Eyre may well be the best out of all the adaptations of the famous novel.

As Karen D’Souza of San Jose Mercury News said, “It’s impossible not to fall in love with this Jane.”

However, Fukunaga’s casting choice of Michael Fassbender as Rochester has been challenged.

Recently cast with the role of Magneto in X-Men: First Class, Fassbender has been criticized for his role as Rochester mostly because it strays from the original description in the book: when Jane Eyre describes Rochester, she says, “Had he been a handsome, heroic-looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him.” In the film, Rochester is portrayed as the dashing master of the house, dissimilar to the illustration in the book.

Fukunaga’s rendition has also been criticized for its omission of important events of the storyline and use of flashbacks instead of a chronological timeline.

Despite the differences between the films and the book, this Jane Eyre has become a favorite for many because of Wasikowska’s phenomenal portrayal of Jane Eyre as a plain young girl, and the remarkable chemistry between her character and that of Fassbender.

As Fassbender commented, “I don’t think chemistry is something that you can really create. There was a big respect there, and I think that there was the same coming from her end, and it just worked. I don’t really know how you develop something like that.”

With the exceptional cast of Wasikowska, Fassbender, Judi Dench and Jamie Bell, Jane Eyre is a film that not only meets the high expectations of the well-acclaimed book, but also creates a whole new perspective on one of the most unforgettable stories.