The novel Sense and Sensibility was truly a masterpiece. Written by Jane Austen this ironic love story has captured the heart of readers for years. The popularity of Austen as a novelist can now be experienced through film.
This book has been adapted into various screenplays, including one by Emma Thompson.Another version of the film was done by the BBC. Perhaps it is the manner in which it was filmed, the character choices or other aspects of the films that make them so different. Though they are based upon the same novel it is to be sure that the Emma Thompson version will preserve Austen’s talent in the world of film. The Emma Thompson version can be well spoken of in that its greatest strength is its ability to preserve and communicate the subtleties of women's life two centuries ago, of human feelings, of passion and reserve, and of wit and irony which are so essential in Austen's books. The movie is, therefore, a rather profound piece of work, which shows a great deal of devotion to it on the part of those involved in its making.
Every detail (scenery, costumes, period "accessories", etc.) is carefully considered and is an integral part of the whole, so one watching it really has the feeling of being carried back to the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. Though the earlier version done by the BBC is much longer and truer to the novel it is with great pains. The acting is rather stiff as is the dialogue. The passion and intensity is lacking, perhaps due to the poor camera angles, lighting and set design. It is not to say that it is not an educational version.
This lower budget allowed for the full development of the characters in a way a short made for Hollywood film can not. Yet it is not to the taste of many of those in today’s audience. One scene in the film in which Marianne and Elinor discuss the prospect of Edwad Ferras is handled quite differently in each of the films. In Thompson’s Marianne visits Elinor’s bedroom as she is settling in for the night to discuss Elinor’s true feelings about her time spent with Mr. Ferras.
This scene is exciting in that it shows the girls talking quietly in the night about a rather taboo subject. The idea that Marianne comes to Elinor’s bedroom suggests the matter is of an intimate nature, as it surely is. In the BBC version the girls are propped on a see-saw type apparatus. This suggests a type of disagreement between the two while still maintaining an understanding.
They shift their weight and ideas back and forth while still supporting wash other. This is a more literal depiction.