This new transposition of Jane Austen’s latest novel appeals to a tone and rhythm intended for a mass audience, but it does not end up being classic or modern.
Persuasion (Persuasion, United States/2022). Direction: Carrie Cracknell. Cast: Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Richard E. Grant, Henry Golding, Ben Bailey-Smith, Yolanda Kettle, and Nia Towle. Screenplay: Alice Victoria Winslow and Ron Bass, based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. Duration: 107 minutes. Suitable for ages 13 and up. Available on Netflix from Friday, July 15.
Few authors have had as many transpositions to film and TV as Jane Austen: sanity and feelings, pride and prejudice, Mansfield Park Y emmafor example, have had multiple versions and Persuasion is no exception.
Although she comes from the British theater, director Carrie Cracknell bets on a quite playful and relaxed tone. Far from the rigidities of quality cinema and the reverence for the classics, this Persuasion 2022 model designed for Netflix’s global audience begins as fleabag (Dakota Johnson’s Anne Elliot breaks the fourth wall looking and talking to the camera as if permanently looking for complicit winks from the viewer) and then drifts towards a tone of a romantic comedy a-la-Bridget Jones.
Of course, like every story that comes out of Austen’s pen, there is Persuasion an accumulation of misfortunes, entanglements, misunderstandings, jealousy and misadventures of intelligent and independent women, but marked by the prejudices and social conditioning of the time (early nineteenth century).
Anne lives in a family of rank, but in deep economic decline. She has had a young love (Cosmo Jarvis’s Frederick Wentworth), but, true to the title, she was “persuaded” not to marry at 19 because that sailor lacked the necessary fortune. The once lovers meet again several years later and he has become a wealthy captain, but what were once synchronized souls now seem like sheer awkwardness and strangeness.
And there will be a third in question (Nia Towle’s sister-in-law Louisa) and a third in contention (Henry Golding’s cousin Mr. Elliot), while the film seems torn between a certain fidelity to Austen’s literary origins and the conventions of comedy. formulaic romance (including the use of incidental music and epic contemporary ballads).
Hardly questioned by most British critics (not to mention the purist defenders of Austen) and received with considerable praise from many American colleagues, Persuasion has in the center of the scene a Dakota Johnson who strives to show that the ridicule she received for her Anastasia Steele in the saga of Fifty Shades of Grey they were unfair. His performances in the dark daughterin the recent Cha Cha Real Smooth and now in Persuasion They show her as a much more ductile and multifaceted interpreter than many anticipated.
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