I was so looking forward to watching the adaptation of Jane Austen’s book, PERSUASION. But alas, I was not rewarded. Instead, it was a dismal attempt to modernize a classic tale into a rom-com.
What caused this movie to fail can be summed up in two words…the script and casting.
Nothing was redeeming to make my heart soar. What were the writers thinking when they destroyed the very essence of this beautiful, poignant, sad love story? It’s not always necessary to give a period film, pieces of our current pop culture. Saving a former lover’s playlist is not the same as wrapping sheet music up with a pretty ribbon. Nor is calling your sister a narcissist (even though she is). What hurts the most was changing the core of who Anne (Dakota Johnson) truly was. She became too strong and outspoken not to find a way to mend her broken heart. If Anne could speak her mind to her family, she surely was not a cowering spinster who was “persuaded” to let go of her one true love. I just don’t buy it. There was no character growth as there was in the original book. This was the cancellation of Jane Austen’s romantic voice.
Dakota Johnson is a beautiful woman. However, she did not embody Anne. Even when she broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the viewers, she was still Dakota. Captain Frederick (Cosmo Jarvis) was handsome and looked great in a uniform. But he was too stiff and emotionless to be believable.
I really wanted to fall in love with this movie, but no amount of PERSUASION could make this happen.
It is available to stream on NETFLIX.