The film opens with a narrator relating the life of Emma Woodhouse from the time that she was born and describing her childhood. It briefly describes her parents and transitions to her mother’s death and her father’s resolution to keep his daughters close. As the narrator describes how the sun continues to shine on Emma, we see her walking down a lane hand in hand with her governess, Anne Taylor. Two gentlemen, Mr. Weston and Dr. Perry, rush to a house on the corner, Mr. Weston entreating Dr. Perry to hurry in to his fatally ill wife, as this happens, Emma is pulled along, away from the spectacle, by Miss Taylor. The narration then goes on to say that other children are not so lucky as Emma, and that “Frank Weston’s world was turned upside-down.” The film briefly sh...
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...me importance. As the scene continues, Emma once again compares herself to Jane Fairfax, stating “even Jane has friends and the desire to be with them in Ireland and Weymouth.” As stated before, this further exemplifies how Emma is herself the outsider when it comes to Jane and Frank.
Overall, the miniseries does an excellent job of taking the themes present in Austen’s novel and presenting them to the audience in a way that slightly subverts and draws out new and interesting interpretations of them. Though this miniseries stands alone fairly well, if examined side by side with Austen’s novel, then it becomes a kind of annotation or companion to the novel. As stated before, it offers complex, well thought out, commentary on Austen’s themes, and, much like a literary criticism, offers the audience a new way of looking at the characters and events in Austen’s novel.
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