It's here! the new Netflix Persuasion adaption staring Dakota Johnson, which takes a modern approach to Jane Austen's intimate novel. I am excited to say that I have Jillian and Yolanda from the Pemberley Podcast joining me to discuss this new adaption. Jillian and Yolanda are no strangers to analysing Austen adaptions and I like to think I have a good recollection of the books so will be fun to compare how the new adaption not only sizes up to the books, but adaptions which have come out in the past.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Liam Hess for Vogue Dakota Johnson’s Persuasion Is a Stylish, Subversive New Take on Jane Austen
Penguin Publishing: How Netflix’s Persuasion talks over Jane Austen’s novel
Dana Stevens for Slate Magazine: Netflix’s Persuasion Isn’t Just Bad Austen. It’s One of the Worst Movies in Years.
Deborah Ross for The Spectator: Everyone involved should be in prison: Netflix’s Persuasion reviewed
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Izzy Meakin 00:18
Hi Janeites and welcome to episode 16 of the What the Austen? podcast I am totally buzzing today because I am joined by Yolanda and Jillian from the Pemberly podcast. So you kind of my Jane Austen podcast neighbours on their podcast, they have a really great discussion on a regular basis about modern Regency and Jane Austen adaptations. So they're really the perfect few people to have on to discuss today's topic, which is the highly anticipated slash kind of controversial persuasion adaptation that Netflix have just released. So welcome, ladies. And thank you for joining me today.
Thanks for having us as they were so excited to be here.
Izzy Meakin 00:55
Absolutely. Honestly, I've, I've been so excited to do this episode with you guys. But before we jump into the topic of persuasion, I would love to hear from you both what got you into Jane Austen, originally?
Jillian, you want to go first?
I figured you'd make me go first. To Julian. So I feel like my Jane Austen dirt journey consisted of a few layers. So I saw the 2005 Pride and Prejudice in like, sixth grade when I was a kid, I think I was like home from sick from school. And I liked a lot of things about it. But I remember like, at the time, I didn't quite understand everything that was happening. I think I wasn't yet up to date on like the rules. I will say they also talk pretty fast in that movie. So there were full on sentences that I just didn't get. And but I always like sort of, you know, historical romance has always been like a fit, like something that I've loved. And so cut to I'm in college, and there's this web series that's just come out called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which is sort of what started you'll and on my podcast, it was a vlog adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. And I loved every single second of it. And really made me appreciate it more and even I took a Jane Austen English class in college, which I was very excited to do. And that's where like, I feel like I learned too much and got to nerd out too much. And we took a sort of I call it a Jane Austen pilgrimage to England over that spring break and we saw Charlton we saw where she was buried at when Kaz Winchester cathedral. We saw places mentioned in the books we went to bath like we saw everything and that that like really super duper cemented, like the depth of like my allegiance to Jane Austen.
Izzy Meakin 02:39
Like and you did that together.
No, that was just me. That was just my backstory. We we met so okay, and a little background. So I did I fell in love with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and took that class in college. But I met Yolanda right after college because I basically emailed the one of the creators of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Bernie sue every single semester until I graduated saying like, I really want to work for you. I want to do this. And it worked. When I finally graduated, he was looking for writing interns. And I sort of knew like, I've emailed this guy, so there's no way he's getting more emails than me. And so it worked out and I became one of his writing interns. And then on my first day of work, I met Yolanda. And we it turns out, we lived in the same area. And so we would commute into our job together, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and bonding over everything.
Izzy Meakin 03:33
Oh my gosh, I love that so much. It's amazing. Yolanda Do you want to take over?
Kind of similar, where I found Jane Austen in college as well. But I feel like a lot of people had read Jane Austen in high school or like had it as part of required reading. Sadly, none of my teachers at Jane Austen then so I didn't find Jane Austen until a little bit later in college. But I was a huge fan of romance movies and rom coms. And there was a night in college where a bunch of girls were gonna gather up and watch the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. And I was like, sure, like, why not join it and see what it's all about because they were clearly very obsessed with it and they loved it. So I was like, Okay, let me watch it. And then I was like, completely taken by the world and by the characters and everything and through that that was my entry point into Jane Austen and through the books and everything. So similarly around the same time, as Julian mentioned, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries was a huge thing. And I also got into it and was a huge fan. Same kind of like kind of meeting point then with Julian were like Bernie Sue was looking for writing interns I had applied I think I had also mentioned messaged him like previously and just never heard back because the series was so popular and I'm sure lots of people were emailing him and timing just worked out. We met and then I think probably like months Few months after, because we had been just talking so much in our commutes about Hamilton and Lizzie Bennet Diaries were like, what if we just started a podcast about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, like that was the goal, initial goal was just to cover that series and to, to interview all the actors and writers and to creators of that show. We accomplish that. And then we're like, what else? What else? What next? And that kind of sent us on that trajectory of more Austen adaptations and more modern adaptations. But those it was this odd, it was really an adaptation that got me into Austen And it's funny that, you know, we have a whole podcast now centred around adaptations.
I will say, you know, I no reason it was totally along this idea. But something that was really exciting to us about having a podcast where we just talked about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is like, on and this was 2016, when, you know, everyone was buying up microphones and talking about whatever they wanted with their friends. And we were no different. We just sort of have kept doing it for six years. And so I remember, we really wanted Bernie and Hank Green, who also created the podcast and all the stars in the writers, like the Lizzie Bennet Diaries had always been like one episode of like a Jane Austen or literary like those sort of podcasts. And we were like, no one's talked about every episode, like no one's really unpacked the whole series. And we also wanted to give ourselves an excuse to talk to these people and have them on the show and, and sort of like insert ourselves more into the entertainment industry. And it worked. And so we, we sort of just have kept going. And I feel like every time we finished an adaptation, we're like, do we still want to do this? Yeah, let's keep going. There's always new things, especially this year, there's there's always new adaptations coming out. And I think there always will be. And so we keep talking about it.
Izzy Meakin 06:56
Yeah, that's amazing. I guess you guys were in such a unique situation that you were kind of close to people who are behind the scenes, creating it, like a lot of us come in is just kind of observers. And, you know, we don't even you move, we follow people on Instagram who are involved in it, but we're not that close to them. But you guys can actually really interview these people. And you've now got knowledge of how these productions work. You're involved in some of them, you know, that's incredible.
Thank you. And it's really funny, because, you know, back in the day, we didn't record a resume at all, we always did it in person, because we're both la based. And so everyone would come over to my apartment. And now. Yeah, everyone would, the only person we ever interviewed remotely was Hank Green. Everyone else was here. And it wasn't really until the pandemic happened, that we were like, Oh, we don't we can just do this. Like everyone's used to this and they expect it.
Izzy Meakin 07:49
Oh, my gosh, that's so funny. You know, I'd actually love to be able to have people here, it doesn't really work out because obviously everyone's all over the world, too. I mean, that's the beauty of doing it virtually is that you can have kind of global guests, per se, but I think wow, it's incredible. Like just having them in your apartment, I would have been so nervous. I would have been like,
oh my gosh, we weren't we weren't.
I don't mean to make us sound cool. Here. There were a couple of people. We don't need to talk about who, but and especially when we were new to this where we're like, we just bought random snacks from Trader Joe's. And it was just like, do you want like a gummy? And they were like, No. Where we would have to like pace around before and after they came and then they left and we were like watch and they were just here. You know?
Like, yeah, we definitely got like a little more professional as time went on. I think our first guest we literally like collapsed on the floor once the door was closed. Yeah. And then by the like, latest guest we had we were like, okay, that happened. I
were like, did they stay a little long? I'm kidding. We didn't say no, but it's we're both like deeply introverted people. And so I also think that this podcast has been a great exercise in forcing us to put ourselves out there and get better at talking to people professionally. That's That's how I feel about it. I don't know if you feel the same way. Yolanda, I don't I don't need to project.
No, I think it's a very fair point in length, how to ask the right questions. I think you Julian are especially good at that. So it's been it's just a great process overall. Yeah.
Izzy Meakin 09:22
That's amazing. Yeah, absolutely. I saw like one of your most recent episodes as well. You've had the director on from Mr. Malcolm's list, which is coming out soon. Yeah. Oh,
it's already come out in the US.
Izzy Meakin 09:34
Oh, ha. See, I don't think it's coming with me yet.
I think that's true. I think that unfortunately, you guys have to wait a little bit longer. But um, that was another one where we truly have been tracking this for a very long time. And we sort of we didn't I will say for that one. Emma was not here in my apartment for that. That was recorded remotely. But we loved having her on and she's been on our radar for years. And we like to think we We're on her radar too, because we've been talking about this adaptation for a really long time. And we had Susanna lane on our podcast I gosh, like, are like 2020 Right.
2020 Yeah. And she wrote the book and adapted her own book to the screenplay. So, yeah. Just all the behind the scenes knowledge. Yep.
Izzy Meakin 10:20
Yeah. And I love that. And because I think, I mean, that's why I wanted you both on because I just think you're gonna take such a different approach, or maybe not a massively different, but you are going to have a different approach to this adaptation than me. Obviously, my podcast is very much book first with the Jane Austen novels. And so all I mean, the people listen to my podcast know, like, when it comes to talking about adaptations, I always like to get actors names and all sorts that just like, we know, you're about the books, there's eater, and you worry. But yes, I really wanted you guys on because of the knowledge and experience that you've had talking about adaptations so far. And you've definitely seen way more than me, I actually haven't even seen the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Well, you can start right after we finish this interview, you'll love it. It's it's something that I think it'll always be my favourite web series. And it's it's just especially like the zeitgeist when it came out. It was something that was just so special. So I believe that, you know, everyone who's into this kind of thing would would really love the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and approved which was the follow up series, which was just pretty much as good.
Izzy Meakin 11:26
I'm gonna watch it and then listen to your podcast at the same time and just work my way through it.
We've had people do it. Yeah. Yeah, I
Izzy Meakin 11:34
think that would be a good call. So today's topic, though, is the 2022 persuasion. So I mean, I'm pretty hot off the mark for this. This is unusual for me. I'm like it came out. I want to talk about it. But I thought to start with, we could kind of cast our minds back to when the trailer was released. Because this really like I'd knew that there was a new persuasion adaptation coming out. And I was excited about it. Because I mean, that is, we've been waiting for a new adaptation for a while. The last one that I can think of is the 2007. One that came out and I did enjoy that. But there was like bits that was like, Oh, look, not too sure about it still. So I was really excited to hear that there was a new one coming out and I saw like the photos coming in, I thought, You know what, it looks great aesthetically. And then I watched the trailer. And I'm not gonna lie. It made me panic a little bit, mainly because when I saw an Elliot in the trailer, she didn't appear as an Elliot to me who the character is in the book. She kind of seemed like a weird, Emma Woodhouse Elizabeth Bennet mashup, she was kind of overly confident, and not very secretive at all about her past romance with Wentworth, which was just strange to me, because the novel itself is all about kind of secrecy and being private and and kind of harbouring these feelings that she can't express other than kind of with us were like, have private confidence reading the book in so yeah, I was just a little bit like, I don't see on in this trailer. And that kind of bothered me a little bit. But I did think if this was just a random, like romance comedy, it would be so good. Like, I feel like I came from it from an annoyance as an Austen fan. But also, it looks really funny. And I'm kind of still looking forward to it in a way.
I feel like the trailer was very, like broad, like, they wanted to get as many eyeballs on it as possible. And they went for like this very punchy, very, like, comedic timing kind of trailer. And maybe in that way, that's where like, a lot of Austen fans were like, What is this because, as you mentioned, like the book is so much more just sad. And like, you know, and is just someone who was very like in her feelings. And then you show Dakota Johnson as an Elliot, who is very, like, just Dakota Johnson as a person just seems like a very bold person. And she's very out there. And so I think even that casting was very unique, because we were like, Oh, this is not going to be the an Elliot that we think we know or like is she going to be able to conform to a sort of, I don't know, like the book version of Anneli. But they very much went in this direction of like, no, she's she's going to be a little more out there. She's going to be a little more outspoken. And I think that's an interesting observation that it is it feels like a mash up of like, Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse. And then I think, even with the AMA 2020, like Anya Taylor joy, like, I think it mirrors like that even a little bit of like how snarky she is, too.
Izzy Meakin 14:40
Yeah, yeah. Julian, your thoughts as well? Yeah, I'm
trying to I'm trying to take myself back to when the trailer came out. I think the funny thing is, so I mean, Yolanda, and I refer to the Pemberly podcast is like breaking news for Jane Austen. So that is to say because things don't come out every single day like the News. Like we usually track things and we talk about things happening for a long time, like from the first deadline announcement, we'll mention it. And then when they inevitably do first look, photo release, like, we'll talk about it. And so when the trailer was released it, it kind of felt like another thing to just sort of like talk about, and see into the movie until the movie came out. I don't really believe in seeing the movie just because I think that I've been deceived by trailers in the past. So I don't remember having any like strong feelings one way or the other about the trailer, I certainly realised that it was going to be like a very wildly different adaptation. But this is where I'll say that, like, it's kind of my opinion. And I feel like I use Jane Austen the most as an example. But we like Hollywood makes and remakes the exact same stories written by the same authors, many, many, many, many, many times. And even though we haven't gotten nearly as many persuasion adaptations as other ones, I do believe that if you're going to like justify making the same story that's been out for over 200 years, you need to have something different with every atom, like it needs to bring something new, and needs to give the new generation something. And I think when I saw it in the trailer, I was like, alright, like, let's see how this, you know, fleabag esque adaptation works out. Like, I don't know that I would have chosen it. But I'm excited to see if it's going to blow my mind. I don't think it did blow my mind. But I thought it was pretty exciting that they tried something new. Because, you know, we've definitely talked a little bit about how secretive and how private and how sort of like intimate this story is. And as good as a book is that makes I think it makes it really hard to adapt it for the big screen, or any any adaptation at all. Because if you just there's always a difference between like what's going on in a character's head, versus what's actually happening to the characters. And if there's not much that's happening, if there's not a tonne of conversation, and it's all sort of like, in someone's mind, then it's like, Ooh, what do we have to show an audience? So from that point of view, I kind of understand the breaking the fourth wall, like I feel like I can see where a justification would come for, like, how will we know what Anna's thinking? If we don't do something like voiceover, which I think can be really overused? Or like try this new thing where I feel like they tried to make her a very modern woman.
I feel like it's one of the characters to that makes sense to break the wall break the fourth wall, because I feel like with a lot of other Auston care with like Elizabeth Bennett, we know what she's thinking with Emma, what else we know what she's thinking. So it makes a little more sense for it to be and Elliot, but yeah, a lot of great points about trying to adapt a book to screen where, you know, even with like Pride and Prejudice of the 1985 versus 2005 adaptations, you have people who are either firmly in the, you know, Team Colin Firth camp or in the Matthew MacFadyen camp, because of how they view more of like the direct, you know, you could say Page to Screen adaptation of the 1985 mini series, versus the 2005 adaptation that was a little bit more of a romantic approach to it a little more like visual eautiful. And they took a little bit more, you know, they had to condense it down into a two hour movie. So there's going to be things that are left out are things that are added. So I feel like even comparing those two adaptations, you have people who aren't fans of the 2005 movie, even though for a lot of people that I speak for myself, like that was my way and because it was so visually beautiful. But yeah, I think with each adaptation, it's I think there is something to like reinventing the story in a way. But I think, you know, we've seen very strong opinions about how people feel about inventing this story, or inventing and reinventing it in this way for persuasion.
Izzy Meakin 19:13
You know, what the way that you said that though, about the fact that obviously, it's like, how do you take this kind of book to screen in that it's really hard that is something that I've also reflected on because there are parts of it that really do bother me like that they don't reflect the book very well because like you said, like, I feel like the only way for her to share her thoughts would be breaking the fourth wall. What I think is maybe they did it a little bit too much that it became kind of annoying, in a sense, but yeah, I part of me is like what was the other way?
Yeah, it's really tricky. And the other thing that is you know, true is like persuasion has been made in a while, like you said the last one, you know, with Pride and Prejudice, we got to go from 1995 to 2005, which is like only 10 years from release. And you know, Yolanda, and I work in entertainment. And I'm sure like people know this in general, but like, it takes a long time to get anything made. Like, honestly, the fact that anything ever gets made is completely amazing to me. Because you just need so many people to say, yes, so many people to write it off so many people to sign so many checks, like the idea that anything ever gets made is amazing. So if something comes out, and it doesn't please everyone, like, I'm not that shocked at all, because, you know, they made some really bold, modern adduct like adaptations and changes. I think another thing that they did was they made it as broad as possible. Like, I think that they definitely tried to make it something that everyone could understand. And I know a lot of Jane Austen fans aren't super thrilled about that. Because they're like, you know, I've heard people say that, you know, they
Izzy Meakin 20:53
do you need change the Yeah.
Yeah, like treating, treating the audience. Like, it's stupid. But I feel like we're I sort of, like, well, it's not that I disagree. It's just that like, I don't know, I'm not angry about it. Like, I'm just not that angry about it. Like I, you know, I think that anyone who you don't have to be a Jane Austen fan to sort of follow what's going on here. Like I said, like, I saw the 2005 movie in sixth grade, and a lot of it went over my head. And, but you know, the older I've gotten, the more I've come to appreciate it. And I like understand everything. We could quote this movie starting now if you want to. But um, you know, I think that this persuasion is something that's meant for people who are more casual, Jane Austen fans, and maybe not even Jane Austen fans, but someone who would just be like, willing to watch a period piece, you know, it's really hard to get period made. And I feel like, you know, it takes stars like Dakota Johnson and Henry Golding, and others to get this movie off the ground. Otherwise, it's just too expensive to justify, you know,
I will say my brother did watch it. And he is not someone who would have ever watched an Austen adaptation. So I don't know if that's something to of like, trying to open doors for, for people who maybe thought this kind of story wasn't for them and opening it up for more people. And I don't know if he'll find his way to the books and to other adaptations, but at least it's some sort of like exposure to this world. And, and something more of Austen,
Izzy Meakin 22:27
which I do get because I feel like bridges from really started that bringing people ever you might my boyfriend, he was bridged in both seasons with me, and he really enjoyed it. And you occasionally will watch a Austen adaptation with me like he did watch parts of this with me. But he's definitely not somebody to jump in and watch it. But he did really enjoy bridges. And actually, so I do get why they're making them more for a modern audience now, because the audience is there. It's just difficult for Jane Austen fans. With the changes, I think, both things that I do love one, the aesthetic and to cast diversity, both things, honestly, long needed in period drama, and I'm just so pleased that it's happening now in massive folds. It's yeah, it's been a long time come in.
Yeah, it feels like a bit of not only the bridgerton effect, but also the Hamilton effect of how much like that even reinvented or had people thinking, Oh, wait, we can do this. And so props to Lin Manuel Miranda for opening people's eyes to incorporate more diverse casting and definitely bridgerton is one that embrace that and took it obviously with Shonda Rhimes, being the showrunner of that she was like, How do I incorporate more of our modern world into this, these books that yes, there's a huge fan base for but how are we bringing them to more people now that they want to see it too because as much as like, I loved the Mr. 2020 adaptation. It was also like a tiny bit disappointing that there wasn't diverse casting and that that could have been a really great opportunity to incorporate that. And to see this adaptation, at least embrace that was really great. And I think more and more we'll see that to not have diverse casting is going to be like a bull. Why are you then telling the same story? Why can't you just incorporate more diversity to include more people?
Izzy Meakin 24:28
Exactly. And the Jane Austen community is diverse. And something that I do want to chat about is some added in this scene so like this is like me like taking the book and kind of looking at it from the book stance so there was some things that I really liked okay, there's things like when she was playing with her nephew I thought that was really cute and was like really nice. The opening scene with Sybil to Elia and Elizabeth I thought spot on so so good. It's
the father was Hilarious. I thought he was so funny. It mirrored I think a little bit of like Mr. Woodhouse, too and Emma 2020. But he thought he had a great performance.
Yeah, when for the Austen dads, and I will, I will be totally transparent and say I read persuasion a long time ago. But I don't remember a lot of specific scenes. So I don't have as many like, oh, I this like, you know, I don't remember as many like how the scene was in the book versus in the moving. But I thought the casting was brilliant. Because, you know, as the middle child of like a very vain family. The dad was great. The two sisters were great. I also love that. Who was the sister who did have those two kids? I was like, wow, like, she was married. I was like, She doesn't deserve that husband and those kids. They're great.
Izzy Meakin 25:54
Chilli, but she was fantastic. Honestly, she was probably the one that was closest to the book characters I say was was Mary.
Just so many quotable quotable lines from her to.
Izzy Meakin 26:06
I know, honestly, she would crack me up. I was like, I just want like a spin off where it's just her.
She deserves her own little like, like, we'll start with a short film and then grow it from there. I also love I love the Musgrove sisters. I don't know why, like Tom, because you're the book expert. I seem to remember in the book, they were like very silly girls. Like they were kind of like, I don't know, just sort of like very like more like kitty and Lydia esque. And just sort of like they only cared about like balls, and meeting boys at balls. And like that I actually liked them as characters in this movie, and I couldn't remember I was like, I thought I remember them being very silly in the book. And I they seem like normal people here, which is great.
Izzy Meakin 26:52
Yeah, I think particularly Louisa seemed like she had like a lot going for like she stood up to Wentworth at one point when he was kind of complaining about and and things. I was like, wow, yeah, they've definitely, I think they definitely gave them a little bit more gumption and in their characters. What is interesting is they didn't have them playing off each other, because in the book, originally, they're both kind of going for Wentworth, even though one of them's already engaged. So I thought that was interesting that they kind of took that out. I do think that's a major thing to take ours totally okay with it. And I don't necessarily think that adds anything to their characters. But I think it was better that they had a bit more going.
Yeah, no, I get that. i It's funny, because I totally forgot this from the book, but at the end, and maybe I'm jumping the gun a little bit to go to the letter part of it. But I totally forgot that they're toying with us when we went and thinks that Louisa and Wentworth are engaged because just they just kept being like, Oh, she's engaged to a sailor, she's engaged with sailor and she's like, No, I missed out on it. And then we later learn that it was the sort of Sailor that she was trying to the heartbroken sailor that she was reading cheer up Anna Yeah. And and they're really engaged in like him going to get a doctor was like, the thing that cemented their romance. And, you know, we kind of like forgot all about, she forgot all about Wentworth.
Izzy Meakin 28:15
You know, this is actually such an interesting thing that I was going to bring up. I don't you'll and I don't know, if you want to add anything before I kind of say why this, this was actually one part of the film that really bothered me before. Okay, I'm gonna say so, basically, what I found really strange. And the only reason this really came to me is because when I was watching it with my boyfriend, I noticed the things that someone who hadn't read the book may find confusing if they just watched the film, and this was one of them. So when, and finds out about Louisa and benek, it's actually before Wentworth even turns up in Bath. So in this film version, obviously, she finds out right at the end before he declares his feelings. So they leave it really late. And I think the issue in doing that is, I thought it was really strange the way she was behaving with Wentworth if she was under the impression he was engaged to her relative to you. I mean, like, I thought if you just watch this film, would you not be thinking why is she being more flirtatious and open with somebody who she thinks is engaged to someone she's related to and someone that she cares about?
Like, it's weird that she's like, she tried to steal Louise's man kind of thing.
Izzy Meakin 29:24
Right? I thought that was a really odd choice to move in that part that kind of the fact that it's exposed that actually no she's engaged with then it cannot Wentworth because they feel like in the book, that's and, you know, green light to be like, I'm gonna give this another go, you know, I mean, I'm going to, if he turns off in Bath, I'm going to try and make the effort to be alone with him to try and show him that I still care where he's leaving it to the last minute you kind of think he Why was she like kind of flirting with him and you know, following around I think that's a really strange change. I do. I do know if you guys like Have we bringing it up? Think the same or if you think definitely.
I mean, I feel like I mean, based on that description I mean the the sort of flirting with potentially engaged man thing does not feel like a very an Elliot thing to do. But given that she's clearly a bit bolder and a bit older in the mood are a lot older, but like, I feel like as I was watching the movie, and maybe this is just like something that I invented, because I felt like I had a good time watching it and it wasn't like really like laid out in the film. But I kind of got the sense that like Anne was sort of reached her point where she was like, I'm sick of like, her being persuaded by other people to live my life a certain way. Like I still have feelings for him and like maybe like he should know that. It is kind of sketchy that she did that when she thought maybe he's engaged to Louisa, but maybe there was a part of her that's like maybe he doesn't want to be engaged to Louisa. Maybe it's an obligation kind of thing because he's such an upright guy. Maybe he wants to change his mind. I don't know. We she
Izzy Meakin 31:05
just kind of made that point doesn't he and the courage he does kind of say am I like I kind of I've got to marry her now because you know, she jumped on I think I didn't catch her. Always
do it. Yeah, that's a really of all the ways that Jane or like, you know, heroines and all kinds of books have like, tried to get a man like not only Louisa was bold enough to explore like, catch me. Oh, you didn't have to marry me.
Izzy Meakin 31:30
I will just add so funny like bearing in mind obviously, like I was saying like my boyfriend's never watched or read persuasion before? It he I said to him, I was like, you've got to watch this scene, like just see what happens anyway. And when she hit the floor, his face honestly, biggest regret of my life is not recorded in his reaction to this his face he looked at he was like, what he was like, Why did gravity just get somewhere strongest, too fast? Like, it's a dramatic scene? You'll enter your thoughts on it.
I was wondering like, is there a particular part? Like, is it maybe the concert you're thinking of like, where she was a little bit more flirtatious? Because I think in some ways, maybe I was perceiving and to like, try to show she was fine. Or maybe she was like trying to move on in some ways. And I don't know, like, maybe she was trying to mask a lot of her emotions. And but there is still so much history between them that I think she can't help but like, be sort of like, I don't know, she's sort of magnetic magnetic around Woo, words. She's more like magnetic around him. Like she just is drawn to him always. And I think it's tough for her to sort of be in her feelings separately and be like, Yes, I am very sad about this. But then when she sees them, it's like, wait, what's going on? Like, I can't I want to act a certain way. But when she sees him, she's like, Oh, no, like, I can't help but have these feelings and
Izzy Meakin 32:53
like it takes her back kind of thing?
I think so. But I think that maybe that's where like the 2007 adaptation. She was a little bit more, she was way more reserved, you you wish you could say,
Izzy Meakin 33:05
Yeah, that's so true. Like maybe she was just trying to honour the fact that he wanted to be friends now. And she was kind of say, like, you know, we can be around each other still. And I guess the saddest part about it. Maybe she thought I still want him in my life, even if I can't be with him. Which I mean, that is heartbreaking. But I feel like that is maybe an an kind of thing to do. Like if we think about adding the book. Because she's so private. She doesn't tell anybody like in this one. She's very open. Or lady Russell, which she isn't in the book, really. And like Lady Russell will be like, um, like, Are you sad about it? And she's just like, No, I wish them like all the happiness in the world and like, where they're like, no wheat, though. But yeah, I think in this one, like maybe that was like one of the parts where she was trying to bring in and character it's like, I need to be strong. I need to still honour this friendship that he wants to have now in Yeah, still kind of reach out to him and make him feel comfortable and bath, which I can imagine, at the time probably wasn't the easiest place to be if you were, you know, not high off in society or whatever. I mean, when was kind of is now but he's still in the Navy, which I mean, look at look at what civil Sally is like, and people are a bit snobby.
I think that's a good point of having a confidant though, because I think too, if you're someone who's been in love with someone for like, eight years, over the over the years, people are going to be like, Okay, move on. Like, it's time for you to like, find something new to talk about. And in that way, maybe the fourth wall is like we are confident, but then they also added lady Russell, so that was interesting.
Izzy Meakin 34:43
Yeah, I actually really liked that. I know a lot of Austen fans really didn't like the portrayal of Lady Russell because they said it obviously didn't own the book. But for me, I thought that was a really nice add that she was a little more sympathetic. Because I feel like for a modern audience, we will be sat there like I'm sorry, but how life is terrible. Why does she not just Want to wait with Wentworth? So I kind of liked that she had lady rustling lady Russell was like, kind of regretted what she what she'd done in the past, she still thought she did it for the right reasons. But in the grand scheme of things, what was most important to her is that she wanted him to be happy. And I think she thought it's not gonna happen or won't work now, but I want to be there for you. Because I can see you're still suffering.
Yeah, I agree. Yeah. And I also love the x box that she has, where it's just filled with, like, she's been saving newspaper clippings of Wentworth, and she's been keeping her eye on him and like the Navy news. And like he, I mean, I thought this was like a cute play on playlists. But like, he wrote music for her, like, gave her sheet music. And that was his way of like, giving her music.
Izzy Meakin 35:47
Oh, my God do and that actually made me cringe. When I saw that. I was like, we were past longing. It's more stalking now. But okay, I feel like, it's like, okay, I'll just roll with this. But it is true that she does keep like all the lessons and things. So I do
think it's interesting. I mean, like, part of me wishes and I don't think we'd get this in the book either. But like, you know, because like Yolanda was saying, like, eight years is a long time to just not like, first of all, still thinking about him. But also like, hasn't really courted anyone else hasn't really considered anyone else in option like, clearly, he's the only person that she's been thinking about all this time. I would have loved to have seen like flashbacks to like what was so special about their relationship when they were 19 that she just can't forget about him can't get them out of her head.
Izzy Meakin 36:35
I was really hoping with this adaptation, we'd get flashbacks because that's one thing that I think what I've always noticed in the community and something that I've always been like, I just want to see flashbacks in obviously, I mean, people right, Jane Austen fanfiction, where they may have written like, you know, what happened before and everything. But I'd love to see that in an adaptation. I feel like that's such an easy place to do. It is like, just show us little snippets. And maybe that was the other way, you know, other than the fourth wall is to show moments of their past so that we can kind of remember it because in the book, you feel the past through the words or lack of words, it's kind of moments where she says like my Wentworth or they'll have conversations and he'll go, Oh, I didn't think you liked bath and she'd say, Oh, are you still fond of music is the little moments that added together, you realise they have such a history. It's so bad. Like you said, it's so hard to do adaptation. I feel like flashbacks is a good way.
I feel like we all have an opportunity here to make a persuasion prequel where, you know, the movie Before Sunrise. No, I think I see that. That's okay. This is like not a Jane Austen thing. This is an aside, but it's like a beautiful movie starring a very young Ethan Hawke. It might have been like his first real movie, and a very young Julie Delpy, and they basically play to strangers, meet on a train, get off and like spend the whole night just talking and wandering around together in Vienna. And then like, the next day, they have to say goodbye. And then it's part of a trilogy and like, literally, like nine real like our years and nine years in the movie world went by, and then they made the second movie. So I wonder if it can be the kind of thing where we make, like, how Anne and Wentworth met, how they fell in love, and like, ultimately, it's going to end in a breakup, but you just have to know that in eight years, they're gonna get back together. That's just that's just me projecting. Yeah,
Izzy Meakin 38:24
I like it. No one's good. You can just putting it out there. It's fine. We'll put it into the universe. It kind of makes you think about call me by your name as well. Like we kind of got the free code, the first one, but actually, you know, obviously the bucks you could continue it on. Yeah, absolutely.
I will say there is a modern book adaptation that we've Gillian and I have read called recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dave where she does show those flashbacks. Oh, yeah. These two characters, what were they like in was a college like when they first met and like the
high school they met in high school and they like sort of like lie to each other when they were like 18 or 19?
Yeah, like more of like the secrecy of hiding their relationship and why she felt like she had to hide it and then the breakup and it just sort of ended in a in a very, like, oh, things are over now I guess. And then you kind of cut to Well, you see the flashbacks kind of embedded throughout the story. So you kind of see the modern, modern or present day versus what it was like when they were in high school still. So I feel like that's something that if Sonali Dave's books ever get adopted into TV shows or movies that would be something unique to see too because I think showing the the sort of, like young love and just deeply in love, and and Wentworth would have been really interesting to see maybe the sort of box of mementos that Ann has kept along the way and along the years was, was there a way of showing like, here's all the Like, you know, the first note when he passed me in church, or here's a playlist or here's like a lock of hair. And I think the lock of hair thing was something maybe we got more of an understanding and Sense and Sensibility of like, this is a big deal for someone to give you a lock of their hair. But here we're like, oh, it's a lock of hair. Oh my god, the
Izzy Meakin 40:20
look of hair is obviously such a big deal and sensibilities, honestly kills me sorry.
But I feel like what's so great about it and Sense and Sensibility is like, he's very close. Like, he's like breathing in her ear neck area. And he like he like he because he takes like a piece from like, right, like in here, like a lie, neck. And it's like, like, I just remember like, my jaw was on the floor. I was like, oh, scandalous. So that's like, it's I feel like it's not about someone like copying off their hair and giving it to you. It was about him sort of like, take away from her head. Yeah.
Izzy Meakin 40:56
But like, that's a good point. Because I think I did watch this version of persuasion more as like a rom com like they gave it as rom com. I, you know, I feel like I liked the book. But I didn't have strong feelings about it that I feel wronged that they didn't make it what it was. But there are all kinds of moments of longing and angst and wanting and like every other like Jane Austen movie, like we've got our hand flex and the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. We have let's see what else we've got like that, like sort of intimate cutting and like some like Shakespeare sonnet readings in Sense and Sensibility. And just like other countless moments, where I feel like because this was it did feel so modern. They didn't really leave a lot of room for that longing, which like the book is like 90% longing, you know?
Izzy Meakin 41:51
Yeah, something that really bothers me is is exactly that. I feel like the 2005 when the hammer flexes is an example that I use as well when I there are ways that you can have real like movie gold. It's like moments that is a fun base, you can go wow, I kind of wish that was in the book. Like that is like the I feel like that's the best reaction you could have making the adaptation and adding something. It didn't there was not there wasn't a moment in this persuasion adaptation. When I felt I wish that was in the book. I knew they added that beach scene where they have this conversation about like, being friends again in for me, honestly, I found that so awkward, in just unnecessary. Like, for me, what's really special is that the first moment that Wentworth lets his guard down in the book is when Louisa hurts herself. And when that happens, the first person he turns to the like, in his moment of need, he turns to and and he's like, What do we do in he looks for her for advice and stuff. And I feel like it takes that to pull his guard down. And for him to be like, I need to stop pretending like I don't like you because I don't love you because I'm proud. I need to, like I need you in my life. And I just think the beach scene just really ruined that for me because it was just awkward and unnecessary. I don't know, what did you guys think I do get it from a rom com kind of point of view that that was like, why they added it. But yeah, that was just my thoughts on it.
Yeah, I mean, I feel like if you're making the rom com version of it, like I can see where it makes sense to like have your two characters that have kind of been trying to not sit next to each other at dinner, trying not to just like be in the same room together, I can see where it wouldn't make sense to have a scene where they basically call a truce. I'm sort of curious, like they definitely like some dialogue that they played up in the trailer that I remember to look out for in the film was we're worse than exes were strangers and then it's like, we're worse than exes were friends. And I don't know maybe like for me, it was like a film nerd that felt like it was a lot more I like wanted to see some weight in that. But I was like, I feel like you just wrote that because it's like what's worse strangers or friends? They both suck for different reasons, because you're not together anymore. But like, you know, obviously if you're making the longing, pining like staring at each other can't stop thinking about each other version of it. It's like too casual of an encounter. Like, I feel like the weight of that scene is like she then like wades into the ocean and he like watches her and then he's like, this is weird. I shouldn't watch her. She can take care of herself. Yeah, it
Izzy Meakin 44:38
was strange. Yolanda, what did you think about the beach scene?
I think I was mostly fine with that. I think I think they were trying to portray more of like that longing between them of like, is there something still here? And maybe it's in that moment where Anna's thinking, Oh, we're going to finally say what what's really on our mind didn't weren't going to actually be together? And then she sort of hit with that. No, he wants to be friends. And yes, we do get that line of exes versus friends or friends versus strangers. But I don't know, maybe it was just adding that scene where they were trying to just get the thoughts in of or I don't know, I don't know exactly. But
Izzy Meakin 45:23
I'm trying to just give like they cut out things later on that I'm like, that you could have had the space to add those things by cutting out this beach scene. And I just feel like we both really could have still followed along the story.
I will say I watched that scene. And I was like, is that the beach from broad church? And that was my most prominent thought.
Izzy Meakin 45:42
All right, it's like maybe they just didn't put enough emphasis in the scene for it to be powerful enough for me to go. Oh, I like the odds. I guess that might have been the thing with that. I guess. It is interesting that they did push that friends to lovers narrative. They also tried to push more, which I always found strange. And I found strange when I first saw the photos, is this idea of like a love triangle between an Wentworth and Mr. Elliot, they even put like photos with him. They were like, stood in a triangle. And like, for me, that was like really strange because Mr. Elliott, in the book, although he although undos for like a moment, she thinks like, Oh, if I married Mr. Elliott, then I could have like my childhood home back in lady Russell's. Like, that'd be so great for you to be mistress of that house and all that kind of thing. She doesn't really consider him seriously. And so I just thought it was strange that it was like, pushed so much. But I must say, I do love Henry Golding, so I didn't mind so much that he had a lot of screen time.
I was gonna say I feel like it's a result of the casting of because people love Henry Golding. So it's like, how do we put more Henry Golding in this in the marketing and everything? Because I think even when we first saw that he was cast and some initial images, we thought he was going to be one worth. I was we were, yeah, everyone was expecting because he's been he's played the big romantic lead. And he's sort of been in that world already. But he wanted to do something different, which Good for him. But then we were like, Wait, that's less screen time for Henry? Oh, no.
Well, it's a challenge, too, because he's such a leading man. And I feel like that's where that's where I'm like, I'll blame Hollywood and marketing on this. Because you know, it's more you want to trick people into thinking he's going to be much more of a romantic rival than he actually is.
Izzy Meakin 47:27
Yeah, because I didn't feel much power from when I just didn't really feel it that for him. And I'm wondering, is it because he was put in a in a like a juxtaposition against Henry golden, who, obviously like you, I feel like he was gonna be Wentworth personally. And I'm much more familiar with him as an actor, and I really love his work. So I was like, maybe that's why I'm kind of I do, I did kind of get like, lost puppy kind of vibes from Wentworth, he always seemed like, he was a bit sad and like, lost in, like book Wentworth is quite confidently when he comes back. He's established like he's made himself. He's obviously a captain. So he's quite high ranking now and things. So it seems steady, there was just seems to last in life, it was kind of I said, in a post once they kind of felt like, and it brought him back from the dead. And he was like, not quite his old self. But she, you know, she like a Frankenstein kind of version of him.
Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like in this like film adaptation version of it, it's like, you know, he's only himself when he's with her. Like, that's probably the vibe. I mean, it's not like what it is in the book, but like, that's, you know, I feel like we kind of have to have conversations about like, the book and the film very separately, because they just changed so much.
Yeah, I will say I think it took me a second rewatch of the movie to like really love Cosmo Jarvis as Wentworth because I think there's just a lot of subtlety with his performance. It really took me until like the end of like that final scene when they are together, and there's like, all this emotion that finally lands on his face and comes out and you're like, Oh, my goodness, like he has been pining for this woman too, as much as maybe he's been leading on. And he's as much like just so in love with her. And then I think when I watched it again, I was I started to see that more. And maybe that was just in in Cosmo Jarvis's performance, but he played it more as like, he was still pining after her. And he was a little bit more obvious with it, too, but they didn't want to say it to each other. And so I think I do get that though. That's a departure from the book as far as like, he comes in more confident, he's a captain. He knows what he's doing. But I think there's like little instances in this movie where they try to show that the show a little bit more of his competence, but I think it's a little like it is still more an story and it's very and forward so maybe we lose part of that too.
Izzy Meakin 49:58
Interesting. Malika. Role Reversal because and in the book is much more reserved Captain West much more confident whereas in this film version there's a bit of a role of resonance that he's more reserved is more private secretive about his feelings and and a little bit more open, openly crying, grabbing the wine bottle kind of thing. So yeah, I do get that sticking on like the Mr. Elio thinks there's just one more point that I wanted to make about it, which, like I said earlier about the Louisa thing that I was worried if someone hadn't seen the book or another adaptation, would they struggle to follow the storyline and know for example, that I saw if this was the very end, when an runs out, and she sees Mr. Elliot, kissing Mrs. Clay, Miss clay, my boyfriend was like, Wait, how did that happen? That's really strange. And I thought, You know what? I pause the movie. And I said, Okay, this is really interesting, because this is something they're taking a book that actually explains all of this. So obviously, in the book, and goes to her friend, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Smith's got this nurse you knows everything, all the gossip of the town. And it's Mrs. Smith, who exposes to an MR. Elliot's true nature, how he may then go here at her and her husband, he's now deceased bankrupt. In it kind of almost comes out that he wants to marry and just so that he can keep kind of the name, but none of it really matters to him. And there's kind of rumours that he's probably going to take Miss players and Miss stress. So there's all these kind of like things that are already said. And then it makes sense, when in the end, it's kind of insinuated that they will go on to marry him and Miss clay well to just stop. So what's the Elliott having child and all this like, anyway, but I thought it is interesting because they don't add anything in the film. So it is kind of a bit of a shock, but you usually just comes out the door, and they're like kissin and you're thinking when When did this happen? I was I thought that was an interesting choice for them to take all of that out and then just add that moment at the end.
Yeah, because I think with Miss Mr. Elliott, there is a scene where he's talking to and and it's almost like, he kind of he like,
Izzy Meakin 52:06
exposes his own evil plan.
Yeah, like his villain speech of like, here's my great plan. But I think he's so confident and like, even flirtation for flirtatious with and that you're like, is that really what he means? He doesn't mean that does he? But you're like, wait, he's telling us exactly who he is. But we don't buy it because and maybe it's Henry Golding. He's so charming, and he's so great in this role. So then when we do see him, kissing another woman, we're like, what just happened?
I will say I totally forgot about all that background in the book. So to me, I was like, okay, he's like, kind of trying to seduce her or like, draw her eye away from the other. Mr. Elliot. I thought it was just kind of like a ROM commie thing to have him actually fall for her when he was trying to be like, Haha, I'm just trying to lure you away from you know, this guy who could stand between me and and my inheritance. And I thought it was just sort of like a funny twist of fate that he actually fell for her and like, actually wanted to marry her.
Do you think he actually fell for an Elliot?
No, not an Elliot, Mrs. Clay or miss? Oh, yeah, they do get married. Like he's making out like, because the two the two moments we really see them together or like when an sees them making out with each other. So I'm like, oh, like he this is in such a way that like, I feel like he's not trying to like just lower her away from the other. Mr. Elliot. I think that he's actually like, oh, like, my end my track did this. Yes, I am. And then like, you know, we see that he marries her which like, to me, he didn't have to marry her in order to like, turn her eye away from Mr. Elliot. So I was like, I feel like
Izzy Meakin 53:54
Was that necessary? They're like, the marriage of the unknown. Like, is that just an added seat was not unnecessary? Like, did we obviously I do it again? Maybe that's because he was Henry Goldman who like we need to complete his story as well.
I mean, I feel like you can't make Henry Golding a full on bad guy is what I think you know, like I feel like his character Mr. Elliott's character in the book is like pretty villain it like, like, he's open about it. And like, I feel like the perceived verisimilitude of him being like I'm a bad boy but like, not that bad because I'm being open about it. And then he actually sort of like falls for his mark at the at not and but like, Mrs. Clay, like when he tries to, like draw her I feel like in the beginning, his goal is to sort of like marry and to like, keep it in the family or whatever, which is fine. And, and sort of draw Miss clays I away from Mr. Elliot so that they won't get married and have potentially a son. So but in that sense, I feel like Miss clay is like the true mark. And I feel like it's kind of like funny and ironic that he thought he was just gonna like turn her eye and then he was like, just kidding, like, I can't keep my hands off this woman. I'm marrying her. But that was just me.
Izzy Meakin 55:06
Yeah, yeah, I do get that for sure. And I think there's a couple of other added scenes that I think are kind of funny like, the opposite the senior the artifice story, where she's like, I had this dream by this octopus that was sucking my face off. Oh, my gosh, I really died. And I was like, what was this film taking, like a real like, strange change now? And we're like, directing dreams? What's going on here?
I did not understand that. But I was like, alright, we're just gonna be weird here. Is it bad that I was kind of like, oh, they know what octopi are? You know?
It was an interesting scene. I think it was just showing like, and awkwardness or I don't know, I think it again, it's a different kind of an who is like actually trying to fill space and be that bridge of making sure things are going fine. But or maybe showing like a little bit more of like her faux pas and like not following society rules, because clearly her sister and her father are like, What are you saying right now we're not supposed to be talking, we have to let other people leave the conversation and for her to jump in. And that way was like, okay, and not only that, jump in with a very weird dream about an octopus, where she is actually the octopus, you know, interesting. Interpretation. And, you know, I love that Mr. Elliot then comes in with, like, the interpretation of that dream. And everyone's like, yes, yes. Well said, that's such a great point.
Izzy Meakin 56:39
Like a dream on LSD is just that, like, I understand this is what this means. And everyone's like, yes. So funny. I never kind of awkward scene as well as when she goes to the toilet. If the tree when she's also eavesdropping, if anything would make me a shy Weir that might like the love of my life, be like five feet away would probably be it like, comment, and that's when I'd want to go.
I was thinking about that moment when we were talking about Louisa defending and, and I was like, I feel like she could have just what happened upon them on a walk. She didn't have to, like, start to pee against a tree. But on the other hand, I'm like, Yeah, I guess that's just how it is. You're in the woods. You've got to go like you're not going to wait for like, there's not gonna be like a facility for you.
Izzy Meakin 57:27
Yeah, maybe it's like the modern day equivalent, like where people just like play games on their fire and other just like scroll social media. Well, everyone knows trailers, you just tell like, I'm going to eavesdrop while I go to the toilet. That's
fine. Yeah, I mean, I would have eavesdropped, too, but I definitely wouldn't have like, peed five feet away from the love of my life and another girl.
Izzy Meakin 57:46
Absolutely not that yeah, that wouldn't have done it for me. That's for sure. So, so funny. That's the thing. I feel like they did add some things that I was like, that's kind of funny. I don't know why it's funny, but it is. But and then another thing that kind of bothered me was like the the amount of wine she drank. That wasn't anything extreme. Like I rarely saw her without a bottle or glass of wine. And I was like, I can't think she's like down in every sin, but it's maybe a bit much at this point. Yeah,
I mean, that's like her wine consumption went up once when I was back in town.
Izzy Meakin 58:20
Went from a glass to a bottle. Yeah,
yep. Where she, I feel like they just sort of like made her like a Bridget Jones type of character.
Izzy Meakin 58:29
Another Yeah, absolutely. I've heard a few people say and like, it's very much like Bridget Jones vibes in the humour. And I think maybe that's what they were going for with the things like the octopus story and stuff is that she's kind of this awkward person that comes out with things.
Well, that was the thing with the initial press release that we saw, because, first one, it was just Dakota Johnson will be and Alia in persuasion, they said there was going to be a modern persuasion. And so I my my initial thought was okay, like, she's going to be like, it's going to be present day, it's going to be in the 2020s sort of thing. Like maybe she's in LA in New York or something like, I don't know, like, that sort of thing. But then we saw the images and we're like, oh, wait, they're still in period attire, this is going to be set in Regency times. So it seems like they took like this modern approach to the story and the dialogue, but still set it in the time, which is where I think people are having like sort of juxtapose feelings of like, Wait, it looks like how we typically think of Austen adaptations, but it sounds like a Bridget Jones type of adaptation. So I think those two maybe at times conflicting things is where people had a lot of issues, but I think it was still taking this really modern approach to a classic story.
Izzy Meakin 59:50
That's such a great point, actually. Julian, did you want to add anything? I have nothing to add. That
was very well said.
Izzy Meakin 59:58
Well said I Um, yeah, I think like, overall, there were elements that I like. And again, I feel like my initial thoughts with the trailer didn't change after I watched the film, in terms of like an actual like rom com, I can still appreciate it as that, I think, is an adaptation from the book, I do still struggle with that the change in the words, the letter at the end really didn't do it. And also it really confused me that they switched some of the lines of the letter around that was kind of irritating to me. And also it really didn't like her reading it to the camera like I knew that had been like the premise for the whole film, I just think Was this the moment to give went with his voice and for him and it just to be like a voiceover and him to say it's on for her to like, embrace it. And then she runs after him kind of thing. I just, I found it kind of cringy when she was reading it to us, I don't know.
I'm glad we got at least a bit of what words voice I think I would have loved to have hear him say half agony half hope. I think that was the main thing. It was a different kind of take into like her perspective on the letter and her actually reading it, but I get that hearing Wentworth in or say it or hear him see it, hear him? See him saying it would have been impactful to?
Yeah, I think it would have because like, I feel like that's it's the most famous line from the book. Like if you I feel like if you know nothing about persuasion, you know, I am half hour and a half hope. And I think also just like, This is my personal bias, like ever since the 2005 Pride and Prejudice when we sort of hear Darcy's voice reading us the letter. I'm like, there's no other way. And so, you know, we kind of got her in the beginning and then got him at the end. I honestly, part of me has been thinking this whole conversation. I'm like, Should Wentworth have been the protagonist in all of this? Because if you think about it, he was the one that was wrong at the beginning. Like he was kind of our dumpy. And he's the one who like made something of himself, like worked his way up, like had adventures at see did all of that came back finds out that like his ex is like living really, really close to him. And he's got to like play it cool. And, like try not to win her back. But also like can't help himself kind of thing like,
Izzy Meakin 1:02:20
tone. Oh, I'm loving this. Oh my gosh. Literally just like the true protagonist when left? Yeah.
Oh my gosh, perhaps it is. Yeah.
There was a previous adaptation announced, but I don't know if it's moving forward with Sarah Snook and Joel fry. It was not around the same time, but I think this one just moved forward, way faster. And so the other one, I don't think it's going to happen. But who knows, I think they can still make it, we're still open to more adaptations, or, you know, there's never enough. So if they still want to make it, they should and maybe Julian, they'll take your note and then switch up the prospective.
Truly, I mean, like, I'm happy for that. And I think it's really interesting when you sort of, you know, change, I feel like they mostly do this in books. I don't think they've really done this with a movie or a show yet, but like, we've seen plenty of, you know, sort of Jane Austen fanfiction, in a way where like, you know, there's a book called the heiress and it's about and de Burgh and her sort of like relationships. And she's has like a secret affair. And sort of like, it's from her point of view, there have been lots of other books written from other characters points of view. So I feel like you know, having it from your leading man's point of view, especially one where if who, I would say underwent the most amount of change for the longest period of time, he certainly at least deserves his own book and putting that out there for all the aspiring authors out there who want to do this some job. Well, I'm truly because I know we said this at the beginning, but I think that persuasion really is a tricky thing to adapt, because, like, a lot of things happen to and like, she doesn't do a lot. It's a lot of things happening to her. And even though it doesn't make for, you know, as exciting of a book, like I feel like it's probably like the closest to real life, like we all want to change our circumstances. But like, at the end of the day life, it feels like life just kind of happens to you. And I think that if you don't want to change a lot of the things that happen, you're going to have to change the way that you do it. And so I think another interesting way to pivot on that would be like, you know, don't change what happened but like, we don't see most of what worse life before he comes to Kelly Lynch hall and I forget the name of the other places that they are. But you know, he has this whole life that he where he like, made himself into a man before coming back and realising he's still in love with an and you know, he's the one that's sort of like doing a lot of things, and I feel like he would be an interesting protagonist.
Izzy Meakin 1:04:55
He's the only hero who's self made as well I believe so um, I totally agree he would be a good person to have his own story line.
They even had an interesting commentary in the movie about that where and father doesn't trust a man who like is able to earn his title. He's like, either like God chose you for this title, or you weren't chosen. And I don't trust anyone who can like, you know, work himself up to my level, you know?
Izzy Meakin 1:05:24
Yeah. And I think through our conversation I am being more I am, it's growing my kind of sympathetic side to adapt in this book, because I do agree with all of Austen's work, this has got to be the hardest to adapt in. Obviously, Jane Austen never knew it's going to be adapted. But she designed it in that way, in the sense that she, that this is like her love letter to us. In a sense, it's her best written work. And what matters in persuasion is the word in what said, what isn't said, What's only said at the end. Those are the things that like really make up the essence of the book. And I feel like that's why it's so hard to adapt. It's like, you know, if you like the essence of Anna is very much the characters, the essence of Pride and Prejudice is the plot in unfortunately, because the essence of persuasion is the words, how do you take that and take it to the screen? And yeah, I feel so much more sympathetic now than I did before just talking to you guys about Yeah,
yeah. And it's, it's tricky. And like, you know, there's certainly I think, like I said, like, I don't think it's a bad thing that people keep remaking these films are these movies like these books into these films and more films, like, I still think there's like a longing dramatic, more like sensual version of persuasion that has yet to be adapted. It just wasn't this one. Like, I don't think that I would put this film on the same shelf that I put on my 2022 or 2020, or Pride and Prejudice 2005. Like, I don't, to me, they don't belong in the same league. But I put it in like, oh, they made a regency rom com, you know, like, I would put it in that category. And there is not a lot of, you know, there's not a lot of films in that category. I actually think the film is like, number one, or like top five on Netflix right now. So even though there are a lot of hardcore Jane Austen fans that don't care for the way that it was made, there are you know, 10s of 1000s of more people who felt like they were able to see something new.
Izzy Meakin 1:07:24
Yeah, and I hear if you just draw more people to the books as well, like, they can be like, Oh, I kind of like this one. I live more I want to read the whole thing. But yeah, I agree. I, I am holding out for persuasion that's a little bit more like the 2005 one where I can get all the feelings from the book, but also get them quickly as opposed to like sitting for 10,000 hours like the 9095 one, which I am is my favourite. I do love that one. But also, I don't always have that much time to put aside. So I am holding out for 2005 esque persuasion. But you'll wonder what what are your thoughts like overview of the whole thing?
Yeah, I think similar to Jillian, I think it was a really great rom com take on this book. And it was a little more broad. And I think it is tough to adapt just someone's internal monologue and internal thoughts. And I think it was a different kind of take with doing the fourth wall, which I think was so well done with fleabag, where that was a little bit more selective with how she looked at the camera. And when she talked to us and that sort of thing. When here it was more, we were her confident. And so she was walking us through a lot more. But I think overall, I really enjoyed the performances, I think it was a different kind of take, and a unique take where maybe they were trying to reinvent more of like this type of book and genre. And I totally get that the Austen audience is like, No, we don't need you to reinvent this kind of story, because we love the story for what it is. But that's totally an approach that they decided to take and it's valid. But still, I think there's still room for other kinds of adaptations that do want to take more of a longing approach and have more time to understand and not just tell us but actually see the emotions to play out. And I mean, that's that's very much what we've seen, too, with a lot of modern adaptations that are set in present day where there is more of that space and sort of flexibility with being able to adapt certain characters into new ways. I think, you know, clueless is probably one of the more famous modern adaptations of an awesome one of the best. Yes, definitely. And that's like a whole different setting. And granted, like, again, it's, it's the modern setting with modern language versus this was the modern language with a regency setting. And so it's a unique take, and I think it'll, we'll see I think right now there's just more of the I'm focused on the controversy, and I think it'll be interesting to see how it plays out and where it stands. And does it stand the test of time, too?
Izzy Meakin 1:10:08
Yeah. Yeah, that's such a good point that can be interesting to see. When the dust settles. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
I feel like it should be adaptations like this. You know, I know a lot of Jane Austen fans are like, enraged with a lot of people who don't care for this, to that I say, like time to be the new generation of filmmakers that go on, you can make your one day you can make your version of persuasion. You know,
Izzy Meakin 1:10:34
honestly, I would love to do that. But that also wouldn't, because I mean, what a task. I mean, at the end of the day, like I am one of the people that I did have some issues with it. But I can also appreciate the good parts of it. And I also do feel really bad because, like, one of the final things I do want to just chat about is the critics response to this so far has been harsh, like, really, really harsh to the extent that I was surprised that they put an announcement that they're going to the screenwriters I believe, are adapting, persuade Pride and Prejudice. And I think there was another one on the list as well. And I was like, wow, like, that is a bold thing to say at this moment when the critics response is so bad. Like, I think one of them said that they should be in prison, because it was like, I mean, I yeah, I read some bad bad reviews. You know, some one, star two star one. So I agree. I'm interested to see when the dust settles where it stands. But I can do this for what it was. I don't know if I want more like this. They want sure different ones. But I do I do kind of feel bad for everybody involved, because it's tough to get that kind of response.
I'm actually curious, Izzy, because I feel like at least in the US, the response has been either mixed or leaning positive and somewhat a little bit more in that sort of mixed camp. But I feel like in the UK, it has been a little, I think more directly negative. So I'm curious to get your perspective too on that.
Izzy Meakin 1:12:00
Yeah. Oh, that's so interesting that you said that that because obviously the media that I'll probably be pushed will be more UK based. And I think a lot of them were so like, I think it was like one of the ones that I read a really good article about it was from Penguin publishing, but I think it was like the UK brand did it and everything. So yeah, I think you're probably right. And I think that kind of makes sense. Because in in the US, you guys have had these more modern adaptations, like the Lizzie Bennet dies, like you said, that was huge over there. I've not seen that, that I can't remember that being that big here. But in terms of like, the literature itself, is very big here. And it's pushed in school, and it's on most curriculums. So I feel like maybe that's the difference, that in America, the more modern Jane Austen adaptations are more popular anyway. It also is a good way to bring you guys into the Austen Community though. Yeah.
I mean, I feel like we've sort of made this joke on our podcast that I'm pretty sure it's against the law to have like a British production of any Jane Austen novel without bringing it to Andrew Davies first, just because he's written most of those adaptations. And I think he's still got it in him to keep going.
He wants to, he said, he's like you said, yeah, he said he wants to do Mansfield Park still. Yeah,
Izzy Meakin 1:13:26
so I thank God because there's no good ones.
Yeah, like, you know, there's and I feel like for persuasion, there's like, the, the one that was made, wouldn't really fit like, 2005 2007. Like, there's that one. And that's the end of the list, you know, so there's still like, new stuff to be made. And like, you know, I feel like nothing to me will ever touch the 2005 version, which have Pride and Prejudice, which like, I know, plenty of other people don't care for and that's fine. But I get like, I guess there's a part of me, that's fine with there being like, quote, unquote, subpar versions of these books out there. Because it still means that it's like growing an audience in its own way. Like there are always always always going to be the people who are so precious about Jane Austen. Yolanda and I used to be a part of the Jane Austen Society of North America, which is like a very scholarly point of view on Jane Austen books and TV, like all kinds of things and like still, like look for new things to learn about the era. But I don't think it's such a terrible thing to have something that like a non Jane Austen diehard fan would just enjoy watching. You know, like, I feel like a lot of people could watch clueless and have no idea it's based on a Jane Austen film even though that one I think was a bit like sharper, clever and like really, like use the rules of the world correctly. Like I think these films didn't really this film didn't really do that. And I guess this is me pretending like these next one. ones are gonna happen. But I don't think it's such a bad thing to have more historical things made because like, I don't know, the more that gets, the more of like even the bad stuff that can get made, the more good stuff that can get made as well. Like, for a long time, it's been hard to get a period piece made, like, you know, we, you know, like I said, like you learned I both work in entertainment, like, people don't want to pay for a period unless there's going to be some kind of payoff. And at the end of the day, you're gonna have to make most diehard Jane Austen fans unhappy, because they are outnumbered by non Jane Austen fans.
Izzy Meakin 1:15:33
That is so interesting. And I feel like the way that I said Yes, I am absolutely a book first kind of person when it comes to Jane Austen. But I'm also very open minded. Like a lot of my episodes, I do crossovers with like Disney and Harry Potter and stuff like I absolutely embrace the modern day that I live in, as well as really enjoying the book style. So I feel like I can sit in the middle. That's why I can enjoy both the 9095 version and the 2005 version for different reasons. But I do know, it's difficult sometimes of people and they do sit on either side. And I do get it but I agree. I feel like it is about welcoming new people into the community. Like however they come to you. If it's from this new persuasion, that's great. Or if it's from the book, you know, amazing. Yeah.
Something you know, it makes me think of it's a different situation. But like the bridgerton books, for example, those, you know, they got made, but they spent decades not getting made because they were mass market paperbacks. They were the kinds of things that were sold on Walmart. Yeah, like at like Walmart. And, you know, they, they were like, in the back. They were in bins, like they're, they're not prestigious literature. It's not taught in schools. It's not taught anywhere. Like it's, it's got a big fan base. But you know, shot the Shonda world had to really change a lot of things about it to appeal to that many more people. And they did a great job of it. Like, it's not the world of the books, but it's a great world.
Izzy Meakin 1:17:01
So true. That's a great point.
I mean, we could talk forever about this, like, this is why this is why we still have a podcast, this is why we're still in business. I mean, you know, we talked about the courtship earlier this year, which is the basically like the Regency version of The Bachelor. I don't know if you have have that over in the UK.
Izzy Meakin 1:17:23
Yeah, we do this thing you guys can select loads of different stuff going on. I was like,
because they filmed it over there. But like, I don't think they aired any channels there. Yeah. There were two British guys,
two British guys, too. And one of them was like, kind of famous in the reality world. So like, I get what he was doing there. But to be fair, I mean, it barely aired on any specific network in the US. I mean, they changed networks, like three times, like it was gonna be Peacock, then they made it NBC, then they made it us and not that it like matters. But you know, it barely aired here. And so I don't know, I feel like that is to say like, maybe us, the US entertainment industry is a bit more. Like, I don't want to say it's more experimental. But I would say like they can, like there, especially when it comes to Jane Austen adaptations. I just think like, it's different kinds of experimentation. I also don't want to, like, have this rubbish I don't like I believe that, like British entertainment also is experimental in its own way. But I feel like definitely the way this film was made, it was meant to be more broad, it was meant to be consumed by a more general broader audience.
Izzy Meakin 1:18:34
I think that's absolutely a fair point. Like, the things that we like bringing out to like the BBC, the ITV versions, which very much close to the book, I mean, the kind of ones that you can watch in school, if you're covering like one of the novels and like your curriculum that can be like we're gonna put the BBC version on like to go and say that they are adapted from the book kind of thing. So I do get that. Sorry. Have you Linda gone?
No, I think that's that's a good point. Because I think you're if you're someone who forgot to read the book in school, and you're like, oh, no, I have a test tomorrow, I need to, I need to figure out what's going on. You could watch the 9095 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. And you we you would do well, pretty well on your tests. But if you were to have to take a test based off this persuasion, you might not pass your
exam, you'd fail the exam. You played yourself, you know.
Be a question on octopuses. And they'd be like, Wait, that's not right. Okay.
Yeah. In fact that I like to imagine a scenario where like, there's a kid who does that, and the teacher is like, hasn't heard of the persuasion movie? And it's like, you're insane for saying that this happened.
Izzy Meakin 1:19:43
Oh, my gosh, I'm totally here for that day. Oh, this has been like so great. I really enjoyed chatting with you guys. And honestly, I could go on for hours and hours. It's so funny. I've actually had to I'm not releasing two episodes a month because some of my episodes were very, very long. So now I'm like, I'm trying to become a bit more digestible for people So yeah, but I've had so much fun, but I really want to give you guys a space to say a bit about your podcast where people can find you. Go ahead.
Yeah, so our podcast is the Pemberly podcast we cover Jane Austen and Regency adaptations. We've covered Burger King this year, we're going to be covering a book called The Emma project by Sonali Dave, a little later this year, and hopefully Sanditon I think is season two this year as well. You can find us on social media at the Pemberly on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, tick tock all the things. And yeah, we just talk.
We just had a tick tock go viral, so everyone should go watch that.
Yes, sir. Exciting guy. I know we were not expecting it. But it was it was comparing or making people choose between Colin Firth or Matthew MacFadyen as their favourite Darcy and so comments have been very active.
Izzy Meakin 1:20:55
Always a heated debate.
Yes. Yeah. But yeah, Izzy, this was so great. I really, we really love chatting with you and talking more about this. I mean, we're always here to talk about Jane Austen adaptations, so it was really great. Getting to talk with you.
Yeah, this was fun. And we could also go for hours. So yes, probably just best to say like, we'll probably talk to you very soon.
Izzy Meakin 1:21:21
Of course, I can't wait. So I will be back with another two episodes next month, head over to my Instagram at what the Ostium for all the latest updates, and for more Jane Austen content. And for more info on the Pemberly podcast head to my bio. I really recommend checking that content out guys. So I will see you in the next episode.