I recently discovered Jane Austen’s romantic novels, even though my sister has been urging me to read Pride and Prejudice for a long time. As a hopeless romantic, I’ve had to face reality a few times and hold myself back. Romantic movies are one of my favorite genres, but there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind: “This isn’t real…I’ll never find true love like this!” Eventually, I decided to indulge in some fantasy and watch Pride and Prejudice. Afterward, I wanted more from the same theme. Then one day, Persuasion popped up on Netflix as a recommendation!
The trailer caught my eye. I haven’t seen Dakota Johnson’s work aside from the 50 Shades trilogy, but I always enjoyed her vibe on talk shows – there was something so likable about her!
Persuasion(2022) : The Plot
The story is told from the point of view of Anne Elliot (Dakota) who speaks directly to the camera/viewer like a friend. She has been pining over Frederick Wentworth, whom she fell in love with a long time ago. Despite Wentworth being a great guy, he lacked proper rank, connections or money which led to her family disapproving their relationship. Anne had to break up with him but apparently did not disclose the situation fully. Unable to get over him, she kept all his memories fresh and alive in her heart and wondered whether he felt the same way about her. Over time, she never heard about Wentworth courting anyone else so there was still a tiny bit of hope left within her.
Wentworth came back into Anne’s life after eight long years, now rich and holding a good rank – an ideal match for any girl. He was more polite and formal, not reacting much to Anne’s presence in their first few meetings. Anne hung out with Wentworth and his friends along with her close friend Louisa, who grew fond of him and started flirting. This made Anne miserable. On one occasion, when she hoped Wentworth would confess his true feelings for her, he instead expressed his wish to remain friends. The friend-zoning was unnecessary and brutal!
While flirting with Wentworth, Louisa had an accident. He later confessed to Anne that he felt guilty for leading Louisa on despite not being romantically interested in her. Meanwhile, Anne met William, one of her handsome cousins who will inherit the Elliot family after her father. William pursued Anne and was played by Henry Golding (known from Crazy Rich Asians). When she heard that Louisa was getting married to Captain Wentworth, Anne cried but eventually decided to move on and give life a chance by saying yes to William.
Anne and Wentworth met after he couldn’t bear to see her with William. Anne learned from a friend that Louisa was marrying someone else, not Wentworth. Heartbroken, he left and wrote a letter for Anne. She found the letter when she heard about the wedding and went looking for him. It turned out that Wentworth never moved on from his love for Anne either. While searching, Anne saw William kissing another girl (how convenient!). Eventually, Ann and Wentworth found each other and shared a loving embrace and kiss. William too, got married with the girl he liked.
My Final Thoughts:
The movie was short and sweet, with a simple plot. However, I felt like something was missing. At times, it seemed like a parody or an unfinished product. Recently, I watched Bridgerton and noticed that even though the fashion and mannerisms may not have been historically accurate, everything fit seamlessly. In contrast, this movie felt rushed – as if it were completed at the last minute. Wentworth appeared sad throughout the entire film which made me uncertain about his character’s role in the story.
Anne/Dakota seemed fine, did not give me the vibe of a woman from couple centuries back though. Story wise I have nothing much to say, I wish to read the novel and come back and share the experience.
Overall I’d rate this movie 4/10.
Probably a better approach could have been to adapt the story in modern day life.
Thanks for stopping by, let me know in the comments how did you feel about the movie! 🙂
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