This remake of Jane Eyre is one that will satisfy both those who are new to the story and those who have encountered it before, with a reworked layout that sees us starting somewhere in the middle. We meet Jane as she flees to the moors, collapses, and is taken in by St John Rivers, and then learn the details of her life through flashback. It is an effective way to breathe new life into the adaptation, which follows the story in all other ways exactly as it was written: the young Jane Eyre is sent to a boarding school and learns the necessary skills to be a governess, then finds employ with the enigmatic and somewhat cruel Mr Rochester.
The film is well done. The interesting effects caused by the use of candlelight and other natural sources give it a very authentic feel, and the casting is incredibly good. Mia Wasikowska is undeniably plain here, though she exudes a beauty that seems more than skin deep – exactly as we would expect from Jane Eyre herself, who, though despite her small stature and unimpressive looks, manages to win over the worldly Rochester. She is just as a reader might imagine her, and while Fassbender might seem a little too traditionally good looking and perhaps not sturdy enough, he too fits his role well. The snapped remarks and uncaring insults he throws about him are just as they should be – the build up of his affection for her is also well done, as the audience is all too aware that he does not refer to Miss Ingram when he speaks of love at all.
Personally I am disappointed with the ending of Jane Eyre, as it changes certain elements from the book that seem quite crucial; however, it is difficult to find an adaptation that does not shy away from the full force of the conclusion, so this perhaps is not something it should be judged on.