Newest Review: ... works very well, and I give it 4 stars. *Please note, this is a series only review - I borrowed the DVD from my mum, and didn't watch any... more
You mean there really are ladies who... steer the punt from the Cambridge end?
Lost In Austen (DVD)
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Lost In Austen (DVD)
Advantages: Funny and lighthearted.
Disadvantages: Perhaps lacking in depth
Amanda lives in London, and has an unsatisfying , unromantic relationship with her boyfriend. She escapes by reading her favourite book, Pride and Prejudice, and dreaming of the day she'll meet her own Mr Darcy. One day she is startled to find Elizabeth Bennett standing in her hall - apparently, there is a door in Amanda's bathroom that corresponds with a door in Elizabeth's home. Unable to resist peeking at life in the time of Pride and Prejudice, Amanda goes through the door, only to find herself trapped in regency England.
Despite being surprised to see an unusually dressed stranger in their home, the Benetts welcome Amanda, and she becomes a part of events in their home and in their wider social circle . There is just one problem - Amanda catches the attentions of Mr Bingley, but he's supposed to marry Jane. Amanda's attempts to match people up with the correct partners in order to follow events in the book result in anger, broken hearts, and a lot of misunderstanding. And worst of all, with Elizabeth trapped in the present day, how is she ever going to meet and marry Mr Darcy?
I was immediately drawn to the premise of the show - as an avid bookworm, I've often found myself transported back in time through good literature. I was mildly concerned that having never really read Pride and Prejudice (although I do remember watching it as a young child) I would find myself confused and not understanding the plot. This wasn't the case - Lost in Austen isn't a particularly deep drama, but it does a good job of getting across it's own plot whilst pointing out where it differs from the book. The overall feel of the show is a light hearted period drama with a touch of modern day romantic comedy.
I liked the casting - Jemima Rooper does wonderfully as the out-of-place Amanda, struggling to explain her odd attire and to keep the story on track, and Elliot Cowen makes an attractively moody Mr Darcy. Guy Henry portrays creepy Mr Colllins wonderfully, but I do think that the real star of the show is Hugh Bonneville as Mr Bennett, struggling to keep his sanity in a house full of women. He has some excellent lines that show his exasperation with his wife's constant marriage mongering, but also show his kindness, patience, and his love for his family. The cast all interacted well together, and I found that my feelings for the characters were established pretty quickly when watching - I soon began to care about how the story turned out- and there were plenty of moments when it seems like nothing could possibly go right for the Bennets.
The show was mainly filmed in Yorkshire, and showcases some excellent Yorkshire buildings. For personal reasons, I really enjoyed this - I have grandparents in Yorkshire, and recognised several of the locations as places I've visited with them in the past. Harewood House in particular is used as Pemberly and is perfectly suited. The costumes also seem fairly accurate, perhaps not as elaborate or extravagant as
in other period dramas, but still fitting the time period.
I found myself really caring for the characters and wanting everything to somehow work out for them. It works so well because for many readers a book lives on in their imagination, and because it somehow managed to put modern day relationship issues into a historical setting. There is some great humour in the show, for example Mr Bingleys utter surprise that lesbians exist, and the Bennet girls utter surprise at discovering lipgloss.
Overall, as light hearted entertainment this works very well, and I give it 4 stars.
*Please note, this is a series only review - I borrowed the DVD from my mum, and didn't watch any extras.
Summary: An easy and enjoyable watch