Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another "Jane Eyre" Analysis

I've been going on a "family tour" for the last few weeks of summer, which explains why I've been a bit out of touch and a lot more inconsistent with my posts lately. Oh, the wonders of the internet! I spend half a week without it and feel like I've completely lost touch with humanity. Well, precisely ten minutes ago I helped my mother unload the car, grabbed the laptop, darted up to my room and immediately went to my Blogger dashboard. What is there waiting for me?

Deleted scenes from the 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre! Eeep! My heart was leaping and my mind was rejoicing, and I hadn't even clicked the "play" button to see if they were any good.

I've missed three days of internet, which means that I've missed three days of "Bronte Blog" news (yes, I visit the blog daily). After sifting through the posts from the last few days, there seems to be nothing else that's particularly exciting. We have the usual positive reviews of the 2011 film and mention of the new Wuthering Heights adaptation.

Luckily, I'm not completely behind because the clips were just posted on the blog today. After watching them (multiple times, I might add), I've come to my conclusions. The clips are attached below. If I were you, I'd look at them. I don't think they would ruin the movie if you haven't seen it, so I won't really caution any readers from other countries.

There are four clips released from what I take will be the "deleted scenes" portion of the DVD coming out in only a week here in the US (squeal), though I hope that a few more will be included. Based on what I've seen in a few featurettes and the trailer and read in the script supplied by the movie tie-in novel,  these may or may not be the only ones on the DVD. If so, then I've probably ruined the surprise, though nothing will deter me from purchasing the DVD on August 16th about fifteen minutes after I hop in the car from my first day of the school year.

If you're putting the clips in chronological order from if you were reading the book (or viewing the movie) then the first is the "Badminton in the Garden" clip. In other words, this is the missing scene that those who deemed the relationship "rushed" would have liked to see included in the film because it gives  Jane and Rochester one more conversation before the burning bed scene. Here, Rochester looks up at Thornfield and lets Jane into some of the specifics of his past by painting the portrait of Adele's background.

       Personally, I have absolutely no idea why this scene was cut at all. The acting was solid, the scene fit perfectly into the progression of the movie, and more screen time between Mia and Michael is always welcome with me. The way this scene was orchestrated was subtly magnificent. Mia plays on Jane's innocence here, asking seemingly harmless and curious questions. When she asks "to fall in love, sir?", I'm truly struck with the idea that Jane believes love to be a painless sort of romance. Through Mia's slight movements of the eye and inflection of her voice, I get the true subliminal message that this is the first time that Jane has ever heard that love can actually bring out the worst in people (jealousy, bitterness, etc).
       I remember that Michael said in one of his interviews that he wanted the weight of Rochester's memories to almost physically manifest themselves through his gestures and actions. For some reason, I received that message a lot through this scene. Maybe it's the fact that Rochester is a lot less formal without the presence of his coat, or perhaps it's the way he washed his hands in the pond water. Either way, I got a really great physical sense of Rochester's masculinity and strength. Fassbender and Wasikowska played well off of each other. While Mia's Jane is asking seemingly innocent questions, we can see the slight stab  Rochester receives when looking into his memories through Fassbender's sharp intake of breath and his intense delivery of the "stream of life" analogy. Why didn't they keep this scene in???

Next deleted scene: "Jane Meets Rochester in the Staircase." This is a "deviation" scene, meaning that it wasn't actually in the source material so it was just a minute scene.
       This clip was fine, but rather unnecessary. I could see why they cut it out. When reading the screenplay, I was actually hoping that this scene might be included as a deleted scene just to see how the actors would carry it out. From what I read, it seems like it might have been included just to provide the audience with one more piercing glance from Rochester. I imagined it as something along the lines of the "I would do anything for you" clip where Jane thinks he's talking about someone else, but it's obvious by his gaze that what he's saying is really intended for her. I was surprised when this scene actually presented quite the opposite. The actors interpreted it literally. Rochester actually is directing the comment towards Blanche Ingram and doesn't even give Jane the slightest bit of recognition. Either way, it wasn't included in the movie and nothing suffered because of it. All it would have done was just add another forty-eight seconds and give us one more line from Blanche.

The third scene is what everybody was really going crazy for here in the US. It's the scene depicting the tearing of the veil and Jane and Rochester's conversation afterwards. A lot of people were really disappointed that this scene didn't make it in, so it ought to be a treat to watch now.
       Once again, WHY did they not include this scene? I loved it! It actually sent a slight shiver down my spine. The tearing of the veil in other adaptions didn't seem half as scary as this one. At the same time, I could have done without Bertha laying down on the bed and snaking up Jane's body. Something about it was a little too sexual. In actuality, I don't really know how I felt about it. The sexuality of Bertha's actions could easily be interpreted as all the more terrifying because of the blatantly close physical proximity between the two characters. On the other hand, others might take it as intensely melodramatic. Even with that point in debate, I still think the scene should have been included. Not only would it introduce a bit more of the gothic feel to the adaption, but it's also an extremely important scene to include! I also really liked Jane and Rochester's conversation afterwards. It was short, but pointed, and even tender. For those of you who've seen the movie, including this scene would mean that things would be slightly re-orchestrated. You couldn't just plug it in like filling in the blank.

The last scene is a different take on Jane's escape and a bit more pleading from Rochester as well as the horseback scene...
       I mentally divided this clip into two halves; from the start to 1:16, and from 1:17 to the end. With that divide in mind, I hated the first half. It's a basic waste of film and is highly infused with a large amount of cheesiness and repetition. I love Michael Fassbender to death, but every actor has some bad takes. The first half of this scene was one of his. I understand the desperation and longing, but something about the tone of his voice when he pleads "I need you, Jane!" was extremely reminiscent of Marlon Brando screaming "Stellaaaaa!" in A Streetcar Named Desire. The way he said it struck me as (I'm sorry to say it) horny rather than an actual heartfelt plea.
       With that being said, however, he toned it down for the "second half" of the scene (1:17 to the end). Instead of pining through the door and harping "I need you", he lowers his voice to a whisper and says "listen to me, allow me to make it up to you." Here I feel my heart warming, and then finally when the camera flashed to him with his head against the door uttering a soft "I love you", I can feel three hearts breaking; his, hers, and mine. At the same time, even the second half gives me mixed feelings because I really liked the way they arranged Jane's escape in the actual film and you can't really include his plea without tweaking that arrangement. Basically (CAUTION: SPOILER) if you want to see Rochester knocking on the door and saying "I love you", then you've have to see Jane jumping out the window. If you inserted the plea into the actual film the way it is, then it would conflict with the method shown in the film where we see Jane's escape begin from her opening the kitchen door, turning her head fearfully to listen for a noise, and then treading through the garden to her escape. When it comes down to it, this scene was probably better off not being included because I liked the escape shown in the film.

What do you guys think? You know that comments are always open and I always love to respond!


  1. I agree with all of your comments. I'm especially sorry that the Badminton and the Veil scene were not included.

    Do you know about C19, BTW? It's a discussion board for 19th Century Literature and it has subboards for Period Drama as well (we have our own Jane Eyre board). It sound like you'd fit in well! The link is

  2. The badminton scene was so good! And the veil scene was great as well! Both should have been included, it would have only added a little more than five minutes. I don't understand the omission at all, and for a lot of "Jane Eyre" diehards, those two scenes were what really made the difference.

    Thank you for the link! I will definitely be tuning in.

  3. I agree with your comments. I too don't understand the reasoning behind leaving out the badminton and veil scenes; their inclusion would have helped the movie for those unfamiliar with the novel (Adele's parentage is discussed), and shows some development of Jane and Edward's relationship.

    The deleted scene of Jane and Edward in the hallway really doesn't add anything except to underscore how alone and isolated Jane is in a house full of people because she is not of their class. It's effective for that reason and, if Fukunaga had chosen to show Edward's attempts to make Jane jealous with Blanche, it would have helped with that too. But Fukunaga decided to downplay Edward's head games, so he could discard this scene without damaging the film since we also see Jane's isolation in the scene where she's ignored by all the guests in the drawing room.

    But I think they were right not to include the scene of Fassbender pounding on Jane's door for two reasons. First, there were no previous scenes establishing the presence of Helen's ghost (there are in the script, which I've read), so suddenly seeing her sitting in a chair would have thrown the audience off completely. Also, seeing Jane leave by the window was odd and you have to wonder how a man on horseback can't find a woman on foot who is just a few minutes ahead of him. The opening scene with Jane quietly leaving Thornfield before anyone is up is so much more effective and it makes clear why Edward never finds her - she had a long headstart in her escape.

  4. The badminton and veil scenes most definitely should have been included, and it especially makes no sense because the scenes were relatively short and could have been worked in easily. It also, as you said, would add more content to Jane and Rochester's relationship for those who thought that it progressed really quickly.

    I agree with your thoughts on the hallway scene, but my opinions as to the pleading scene is a bit mixed. Perhaps if they had shown just the part of Rochester pleading, they could have worked it in behind the scene where Jane comes out of her room and he's laying on the floor waiting for her. They could have cut out the "jumping out the window" part and kept the "listen to me/make it up/I love you" part in tact without messing up the escape scene. Just a thought.

    As for Helen, I loved what they did in the script with working her in, but you're right. Those who aren't obsessive like we are and haven't read the original screenplay wouldn't know anything about that and the mirror thing would throw them off. But I still rather liked the way Jane was laying in the grass and Helen was there to comfort her. In a way I think that perhaps that part could have been worked in a little easier than the "in the mirror" thing.

    What I was really hoping to see as a deleted scene was something small. In the featurette that included a lot of scenes that ended up not getting put in the movie, there was one second where we see Jane and Rochester in a doorway together with him blocking her way and holding her by the hand. In reading the screenplay, I assume it was a clip they were intending on using for the "courtship" montage where they originally intended to have Jane and Rochester voiceovers (which I would have personally loved to see).

  5. I can't believe we're just over a week away from the DVD release!

  6. Neither can I! I'm highly anticipating the day. Especially since it coincides with my first day of the school year.