Persuasion Review – Dakota Johnson Looks Role As Jane Austen Gets Fleabagged | Film

JAne Austen’s quiet, subtle romance gets the Fleabag treatment in this smiley romantic comedy; he has more off-key than a squadron of drunk harpists, including all but a last-minute rush in a horse-drawn carriage to Bath Airport. Our wise protagonist Anne Elliot always does haughty takes and wry monologues on camera, taking desperate sips from a bottle of red wine in private, occasionally nursing an eccentric pet rabbit, and in the (unforgivable) end gives us a wink to seal the deal with our adorably conniving approval. The final wedding scene invents a cutesy comedic twist for us involving two distinct characters whose status and purpose this film becomes very wrong.

The casting itself isn’t the problem: Dakota Johnson looks like and stars as Anne, who eight years ago was persuaded to turn down a marriage proposal from handsome but penniless Wentworth, in whom the role Cosmo Jarvis does an honest job, with a touch of Firth/Grant in its shy but grumpy reluctance. Now Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, newly wealthy, promoted with prestige, and is said to still be looking for a wife, to the mortification of lonely Anne (she is still in love with him). Meanwhile, his family has fallen on hard times because of spendthrift snobby father Sir Walter Elliot, amusingly personified as Richard E Grant. His selfish sister Mary (played in scene stealing by Mia McKenna-Bruce) makes claims to Anne who takes him to Lyme, where his brother-in-law Charles’ (Ben Bailey-Smith) pretty sisters involve Wentworth in romantic attractions of diversion. . Her cousin William Elliot (Henry Golding), a smug claimant to her father’s baronetcy, makes advances to her, and she is still close to the mentor who disastrously persuaded her against Captain Wentworth: Lady Russell ( Nikki Amuka-Bird), who in this version is someone who does cougar sex tourism tours in Europe (off camera).

Jane Austen’s books shouldn’t be sacred scriptures for adaptations: The movie Clueless and Curtis Sittenfeld’s underrated comic novel Eligible show how you can go hands-free. And this film’s diverse, Bridgerton-style cast arguably touches on the novel’s historical themes of imperial law, estates in the West Indies, naval plunder and racing. But there is something smug, incomprehensible and unconvincing about it.

Persuasion hits theaters July 8 and Netflix July 15.

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