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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Bright Star


If you don’t like period dramas, maybe steer clear. Visually this movie is absolutely compelling. It was as if a series of photographs were placed together and put on screen. This film follows John Keats and his love Frances ‘Fanny’ Brawne as they attempt to consolidate their love, a love that is continuously taken out of their reach. It is a brilliant period drama, one of those many movies that follows a particular figure in history, especially literary history, and creates a beautiful story out of it. This is alike to Becoming Jane or the Young Victoria, but in many ways it in its own, separate league.

The film surprisingly does not follow John Keats (Ben Whishaw) himself, but more the thoughts and life of Fanny Brawne, the girl next door with whom he falls in love. Fanny (Abbie Cornish) is witty but not always smart; she is attracted to Keats’ poetry and the fact she does not understand it compels her even more. Their attraction is immediate and the chemistry between the two is outstanding. It was an interesting take on the life of a literary figure, seeing him through the eyes of the woman he loved. I didn’t know anything about Keats before this movie, so the side of him I saw was a tad tormented, not to mention I actually know nothing about his family life… but it was different and kind of fresh having it portrayed this way. I liked it.

At the beginning of the film, it doesn’t gradually ease you into the story. It simply immerses the viewers into a life where Keats and Fanny have known each other for a while and there is a confusing moment at the beginning of the film when Fanny is very angry at Keats’ friend Mr Brown. Some of these things become clearer with time, though, yet some questions were not answered.

It was quiet, it was scenic, it was poetic, it made me want to live in England and sit among the flowers, there was snow, there was sun and there was great acting. Abbie Cornish was the star of the show.

Director: Jane Campion
Cast: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw and Paul Schneider


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