Persuasion is a 2022 American romantic drama film directed by Carrie Cracknel and based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. It stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka Bird, Mia McKenna Bruce, Richard E. Grant and Henry Golding.
The story follows Anne Elliot when Frederick Wentworth – the one who got away – comes back into her life, she most choose between putting her past behind her or going with her heart for a second chance.
Anne Elliot, an Englishwoman of 27, who family moves to lower their payments and lower their debt by renting their home to an admiral and his wife. The Captain Frederick Wentworth, was engaged to Anne in 1806, but their engagement was broken when Anne was convinced by family and friends to end the relationship. Ane and Captain Wentworth, both single meet again after seven years of seperation, setting the scene for a second chance at love and mariage and many humorous meetings.
Sometimes changing up well known stories works and sometimes it doesn’t. This film follows the story to extent but adds so much unnecessary stuff that it is hard to watch for the majority of the movie. It add humor and no Austen story is that humorous. There is also lots of drinking of red wine, lying around in bed and crying in the tub. She breaks the fouth in a “Fleabag” sort of style, making the character that was written as shy and introverted seem more talkative and extroverted.
Dakota Johnson’s Anne Elliot is for prettier than character is supposed to be as Austen had written that Anne was once beautiful but at 27, her beauty is fading and she is nothing but plain at best. Dakota is anything but plain. Also many of the costumes are not 19th century British-esque, nor are many of the hairstyles. Much of this film feels rather satirical than a serious romantic drama.
I’m not racist by any means and I understand that the director, casting director and producers didn’t want to come off as racist and such, but that just goes against everything Austen wrote and untrue to actual history. There were no black or half black, Asian or half Asian characters in any of her books and maybe she was racist (who knows), also her books were written as romantic dramas with very little humor.
Captain Wentworth tries to win Anne back many times and she rebuffs him until he gives up until the end. Charles Mugrove Jr., heir to the Musgrove estate, first proposes to Anne and the tells him she doesn’t truly love him. He ends up marrying Anne’s sister Mary. After learning that Anne turned Charles down, Wentworth tries to win her over again.
Mia McKenna Bruce is great as Anne’s dull and vain sister Mary. Newcomer Nia Towle brings a liveliness to the role to Anne’s sister in law Louisa, making the film seem more like a really long episode of Bridgerton than an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. Henry Golding does a really good job as Mr. William Elliot, though it’s hard to get past the fact he’s Malaysian-British and hard to get past his good looks. Cosmo Jarvis is excellent as Captain Wentworth and probably the only realistic portrayal in the whole film.
This like a “Bridgerton” and “Fleabag” style retelling of an Austen work. It also feels like Shonda Rhimes wrote and directed it after reading just the Cliff Notes of the book. There is far too many differences from the real story and too much comedy and drinking. The film is far too focused on romance and not enough on the lives of the character like in book. The movie also has a very sexual feel, though there is no sex, closest thing being kissing, one character grabbing a female character by her waist and quite a bit of flirting.
Overall, this is not only the worst adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, but also a fiasco of a film that should’ve never been made. It is boring, hardly romantic and not the least bit funny. It seems like Netflix will greenlight just about anything these days. 10+ 2.5/5