The first time I watched this, the version with Kiera Knightly, I thought it came off rather poorly compared to the BBC version with Colin Firth. The second time, I liked it better, but while it generally stays close to the original book, there still seemed something a little off. Then I watched the movie with the commentary by the director (Joe Wright), and had an “aha!” moment.
I had always read the book – and I think Jane Austin wrote it – with Elizabeth totally hostile to Darcy at the time of his initial proposal. It seemed to me that the change in her attitude did not even start until the second time she read his letter – and then it took a long time to really sink in.
In this version, the director assumed that Elizabeth was actually attracted to Darcy at the time he first proposed to her, and refused him from pride and a bit of temper. I was watching from my understanding of the book, and when that clashed with the way the actors were playing their parts, l had a hard time following. I need to set it aside for a while and perhaps watch it again.
I was a little bothered by Lady Catherine showing up at the Bennett home late at night and the family all meeting her in their sleeping attire. Would this really have happened at this time of history? Would not a servant have opened the door, rather than Mr. Bennett?
All in all, this was an excellent movie, even if it did depart somewhat from the book.