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Pride and Prejudice (2005) - Blu-ray Review

4166 Views 4 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Jon Liu
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Starring: Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfadyen, Rosamund Pike, Simon Woods, Jena Malone, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Simon Woods
Director: Joe Wright
Studio: Universal Studios
Rating: PG
Blu-ray Release Date: January 26, 2010


Let me clear the air here, first. I normally don’t like these kind of movies and truth be told, even the ‘Pride and Prejudice’ starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle bored me out of my mind. Maybe it was the lengthy runtime of 300 minutes of that version, but even still I just had a hard time getting into any portion of that version. That is not the case for this version of Jane Austen’s story at all. In fact, I actually like this movie. I like it enough that I bought this film now three times, different formats, mind you. First was when it was released on DVD, my wife initially made the purchase, but when we watched it I enjoyed it. Next it was on the now defunct HD-DVD format. Finally, this retold classic tale of Ms. Austen’s has now finally made it to blu-ray and it has now made it into my collection for a third time.

This retelling visualization of Jane Austen’s ever-popular novel really captures my attention from the very beginning of the film all the way to the credits. As the film opens with Elizabeth Bennet (Knightly) returning home she overhears her extremely eager mother (Blethyn) speaking to father (Sutherland) saying that there is a wealthy man by the name of Mr. Bingley (Woods) that is renting out a nearby estate. The only interest of Mrs. Bennet’s is to find suitable marriage material for her five daughters and Mr. Bingley seems to fit that role.

When the Bennets attend a public ball, Mrs. Bennet forcibly introduces her daughters and immediately Jane Bennet (Pike) seemingly hits it off with Mr. Bingley. As the two go off to dance, Elizabeth is left with Mr. Darcy (Macfadyen) who is at the ball escorting Mr. Bingley and his sister Caroline Bingley. Making polite conversation Elizabeth speaks to Mr. Darcy who then ultimately brushes her off. Later she overhears him make a rude comment about her. Taken back by this she is left with a bad experience and impression of Mr. Darcy. And there begins the feud between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

The two of them cross paths continuously and each time they do only leads to more seeming bitterness and an escalation of an odd fixation of one another. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth seem to both have a sharp tongue and do their best to get under each other’s skin. And though they both appear to be out to get one another their fixation could very well turn into more of a lovers quarrel.

As I said before, I am not usually into these overly romantic movies, but this one seems to be the exception. The pacing of the film and the banter back and forth really keep me interested in it. While I am not really a fan of Keira Knightly in general, in fact, I am one of the few who thinks she isn’t that great looking I can say this one film that I really enjoy her in and I forget that it’s Keira Knightly playing the role of Elizabeth and I am just focusing on Elizabeth Bennet.


‘Pride and Prejudice’ is rated PG for some mild thematic elements. Truly, there’s hardly much wrong for most ages, although I don’t think that the younger crowd really will be too interested in this one.


Having seen the film in high definition on the HD-DVD format, it appears to be an identical transfer to the one given to the HD-DVD version. However, I cannot confirm this since I no longer own the film on HD-DVD or have an HD-DVD player anymore, but from the impression that I got while watching it again it seemed the same. That's not a bad thing because it did justice to the beautiful country scenery that is portrayed in this film. Sharpness and details aren't always consistent, though. Some of the closeup facial shots lack that final resolve that we've been spoiled with in recent disc releases. The color palette takes a very warm and naturalistic approach as opposed to a very showy, vibrant color scheme which is fitting to get the audience to experience more of the time period. Generally, 'Pride and Prejudice' is given a satisfying video transfer, but I don't really think people will be swayed to buy or not to buy this movie based on the quality of video transfer alone anyway.


The audio codec for 'Pride and Prejudice' has been changed from a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD that the HD-DVD had to 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track for the blu-ray release. From what I could tell, again, it sounds pretty much the same as the HD-DVD release, but again, I cannot test for sure. As expected in a film like this, dialog drives the vast majority of the movie. While I did not have a hard time hearing the dialog, per se, I still have a hard time understanding their accents. This is not a fault of the audio mix, rather more my unfamiliarity and need to process the fast english accent. Even after watching this movie several times there are still lines that I didn't quite get the first time. Other than that, the sound mix is pretty good all things considered. Surround channel usage is present throughout a lot of the film adding a sense of ambience and space to the soundtrack. Do not expect much from the low frequency department because you're not going to get much from this audio mix. I will, however, briefly comment on the music of the film - the music and especially the piano song in this film have always caught my attention in this film. To me it just seems to encompass the urgency and passion of the characters very well.


I'm a bit disappointed in the extras for this release. It seems they regurgitated the same extras for the HD-DVD, which were cloned from the DVD release before that. The extras for this are as follows:

-‘Conversation With the Cast – a featurette looking into the casts experience together.
-Director’s Commentary – Director Joe Wright alone just speaks during the movie.
-‘Jane Austen – Ahead of Her Time’ – brief look into the author behind the story.
-‘A Bennet Family Portrait’ – Interviews with the cast
-‘HBO First Look: Pride and Prejudice’ – seems more like a puff piece rather than an insightful look into the making of the film.
-‘The Politics of 18th Century Dating’ – featurette that is pretty self-explanatory.
-‘The Stately Homes of Pride and Prejudice’ – An interactive look at the different locations in the movie.


My feelings towards this film were made clear at the beginning of this review. This film seemed to have tapped into my inner "hopeless romantic" persona. The video presentation is suitable and does well enough, although I can see a bit of room for improvement. The audio mix is essentially what you would expect from a romantic movie of this sort. All in all, 'Pride and Prejudice' (2005) is one of the few well done romantic movies of our time and I think Jane Austen's story itself still stands the test of time. If you are looking for a movie to watch while snuggling with your significant other, this one fits the bill famously. For those who have not seen this movie, I definitely suggest you give it a try.

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Great review Jon, I may have to check this on out in about two weeks. I'm sure my wife will appreciate it around Valentines Day. Oddly enough I'm not a fan of the genre or of Kiera Knightly either. Pretty much for the same reasons you listed still, if you find it worth buying three times I will definitely check it out at least once.
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I'm sure she would appreciate this type of movie during Valentines Day! I like a good story and a good story told right and I think that it certainly was.

Let me know what you think when you get around to watching it, Dale. Who knows, you may actually hate this film as much as I liked it! :)
With all that's been happening I forgot to mention that I rented this for Tina and I to watch last Saturday and ended up picking up our on copy on Valentines Day. You were right, it's a good one.
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That's great, Dale! Yeah, what I really enjoy about this film is it doesn't rely on unnecessary hollywood fluff in order to sell it... the story and the acting alone are what make it. No real foul language, no explicit sex sequences, it's just a good wholesome love story.
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