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5 Most Loved And Hated Versions Of Pride And Prejudice

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By Sabhya Kumar:

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice continues to thrive in literary circles for reasons more than one, whether it’s the revolutionary Lizzie Bennett or the egoistically enigmatic Mr Darcy. Generations of women will remember and cherish the alpha male, in the form of the aristocratic Darcy. As legions of film makers attempt to immortalise the classic, we explore the best and the worst adaptations of the Victorian original.


1. Pride and Prejudice (BBC’s TV Miniseries): Undoubtedly, the best remake of any book, of any period of time, anywhere. Colin Firth oozes charm as Darcy to Jennifer Ehle’s headstrong Bennett. An improvisation over the previous versions, it is replete with historical accuracy, yet maintaining the profound manifestations of their insolent love.

2. Bride and Prejudice: Humble attempt by ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ director, Gurinder Chadha. While it’s obvious that she is enamoured by the plotline of the original, the over use of the Indian American societal construct is a bit of a stretch. The typical perception of India, in the eyes of the West, has more to do with cultural differences than the personal relationship between Lolita and Darcy. Clichéd depiction of both India and the West, left a sour taste in many a mouth. Also, the choreographed dancing was probably a bad idea.

3. Pride and Prejudice (2005): Keira Knightley, obsessed with period roles, donned another Victorian hat. This time, unlike Elizabeth Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the hat didn’t really fit. There was too much delicacy and simply too much beauty. Lizzie Bennett was notorious for being plain. Not dainty and possibly no one could have imagined the Bennett sisters as veritable goddesses. Somehow somewhere, this seemingly minor incongruity really put me off the movie. Only a complete idiot would ignore the beautiful Knightley, violating the Austenian concept of Darcy falling for her brains and not her beauty. Matthew MacFayden as Mr Darcy was a crushing blow. Frigid and cold, pale in comparison to the Colin Firth we know and love.

4. The Bridget Jones’ Diary: Helen Fielding wrote the books inspired only by Firth’s portrayal of Darcy in the BBC version. It was perhaps the only piece of fan fiction to be published and to amass such popularity! The books are urbanely British and the movies less so. With room for some dramatic license, this is an excellently funny modern adaptation of the original, and even Austen, had she known contemporary humour, would have been proud. Colin Firth plays Darcy again, a role he should consider patenting. Renee Zellweger is one of the most perfect Elizabeths, even though she is called Bridget here. Hugh Grant is devilishly charming and the character of George Wickham, has never been so notoriously loved. This is a holistically entertaining version of the story.

5. The Lizzie Bennett Diaries: Not a movie but a YouTube channel which video logs the Pride and Prejudice story. Ingenious, to say the least, Hank Green and Bernie Su created this masterpiece. Lizzie is outstanding and obstinately so. Darcy leaves a lot to be desired but in its entirety, you have more to love. The actors are perfect, Jane Bennett is as sweet as Austen would have imagined. The idea of video logging the plotline is pure genius. As much as I hate to admit it, the joy of reading has eluded many of my fellow humans. A YouTube video is more educative for them, than a book will ever be. The reach of the story has multiplied exponentially and many can now appreciate its appeal.

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  1. VoR

    If you ever read the novel you’ll find that Lizzy Bennet is not, in fact, supposed to be plain.
    Quite the opposite. Of the five sisters Mary is the only plain one, and in terms of beauty Lizzy is second only to Jane.

    1. Sabhya Kumar

      Relatively speaking, compared to the Ms Bingleys and other aristocratic ladies, she was supposed to be simple. Darcy falls for her wit before he can deduce her charms.

    2. Areeba Zaidi

      You rock the question-answer thingy like a boss..!!! You did Mr. Darcy and Jane Austen proud..!! If Jane Austen was, in actual fact, alive and well-verse with the times and the literature..!!
      This really does sum up everything that can be lined up for comparison with Pride and Prejudice.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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