Persuasion Netflix review (spoiler I didn't like it)

It was actually worse than I 
thought it was going to be.
Hello so today is July the 15th. It is the day 
when the new adaptation of Persuasion starring  
Dakota Johnson drops onto Netflix. Incredible that 
they knew about Jane Austen July and like knew to  
drop the film in that month, someone at Netflix 
has clearly done their homework. So I thought  
I would just do like a little impromptu review, 
get like my thoughts like right after I’ve seen  
the film. I haven’t seen the film yet, I’m about 
to sit down with my dinner and watch it. So when  
the trailer dropped a few weeks ago I think, the 
Jane Austen fans of the internet were obviously  
outraged. This film seems to have taken the 
character of Emma and put her inside the story of  
Persuasion, while also adding like Fleabag into it 
because that’s fashionable. So right off from the  
trailer you can tell that this is not going to be 
a good adaptation of the book of Persuasion. Anne  
Elliot would never look at the camera, wink 
to camera, make a witty remarks at the camera,  
that’s just not her character. So for me I’m 
just going to like completely remove the book  
out of the equation. I’m going to try

and go into 
this to enjoy it for what it is. What I can glean  
from the trailer is that it’s leaning more towards 
perhaps the Keira Knightley version of Pride and  
Prejudice. There’s a lot of loose hair going on, 
there’s a lot of wandering around without bonnets,  
it’s definitely not trying to be historically 
accurate. But it also doesn’t seem to be going  
too far into Bridgerton where it’s like purposely 
being over the top and mixing up eras and fashions  
and styles and stuff to just make something kind 
of new. So I don’t know whether it’s going to work  
because I feel like there’s too many different 
elements going on. I also don’t think Dakota  
Johnson’s going to do a particularly good English 
accent from what I’ve seen in the trailer. However  
everyone else is English and they all seem to be 
pretty well cast. One of the things that I will  
praise the film for is the colourblind casting 
I think that’s really cool. And from what I can  
gather from what I know about the actors that 
they’ve cast, they seem to have cast really well  
in all the supporting characters so I am excited 
to see all of them. To be honest, Persuasion is  
not my personal favorite book, I find Anne Elliott 
a little boring. Of course the exception to this  
is the 90’s adaptation of Persuasion which 
is not just one of my favorite Jane Austen  
adaptations but one of my favourite films of all 
time, it is so beautifully shot. If you haven’t  
seen that version I would highly recommend going 
and finding it. I actually watched it on YouTube  
so it might still be there, if it is I will link 
it in the description below. In that adaptation  
I felt like they were really faithful to the book 
but there’s something about being able to see  
an actor’s face doing all this internal work but 
still understanding what she’s going through in  
her head that worked really well for me 
and actually made a lot more sympathetic  
and interesting to me than she was in the book. 
I hope this will be a fun film to watch anyway  
and regardless it’s so exciting when a new Jane 
Austen adaptation comes out. As popular as Jane  
Austen is we actually don’t get that many 
adaptations of her works. Compared to people  
who are fans of Marvel comics you know they 
get billions of new films every single year.  
Us Jane Austen fans we get like one every few 
years if that and it depends on whether like  
people are going through a regency or period drama 
phase or not. So any new Jane Austen content I’m  
personally excited for. I will come back once 
I watch the film and give you my actual review.
Okay so I have finished the film. I don’t even 
know where to start it was actually worse than  
I thought it was going to be. Firstly Dakota 
Johnson’s accent, that was as bad as I thought  
it was going to be. I think she tried her best, 
I think it’s the fault of the people who cast  
her like it’s not fair on an actor if they simply 
can’t do an accent. And I think she was miscast  
even for this new version of Anne that they 
were going for weirdly. They’re trying to  
make her this like awkward but in a charming way 
person who like trips over all the time and like  
accidentally spills wine on her head at one point. 
I just didn’t believe Dakota Johnson in this role,  
I didn’t believe in her as this klutz, I didn’t 
think she was landing the jokes very well.  
And then Cosmo Jarvis playing Frederick Wentworth, 
he was terrible he was so miscarried, he had no  
charm, no charisma and he had no chemistry with 
Dakota Johnson at all and that’s literally what  
this story hinges on. Like regardless of how much 
else you change in the story of Persuasion, the  
point of the story is these two main characters 
having this unspoken longing and chemistry with  
each other and that is what keeps the love story 
going and without that there’s just no point to  
the story. I just feel like this film failed 
on the most basic like romantic comedy levels  
to start with, not being funny and not being very 
romantic. The whole putting modern phrases into it  
I just didn’t get why they were doing that. Like 
if you want to make a modern adaption do that, do  
like a full Clueless style adaptation, set it in 
the modern era. I think those types of films are  
really fun and they work really well to showcase 
the reason why these stories are classics,  
because they have universal stories and characters 
and themes that will resonate throughout any age.  
When I first heard that Dakota Johnson was cast 
in this film I instantly assumed that it was  
a modern adaptation and I thought that would be 
really cool. So I was actually quite disappointed  
when the first still came out and she was in 
period costume. But yeah the way they have added  
in modern vernacular is so patronising. It’s like 
they don’t trust the audience to understand what’s  
going on without over explaining everything and 
relating it to modern phrases. There’s one point  
where a character says she’s an empath and there’s 
another point where um Anne pulls out this like  
pile of sheet music and says look at this playlist 
that Frederick made me. It’s so unnecessary  
and it’s bizarre because Jane Austen is hugely 
popular, she is one of the most famous and most  
read authors in the entire world like there’s no 
need to doubt that people will understand what’s  
going on. So it’s crazy to me that they felt this 
need to you know supposedly make it relevant. They  
also have Anne talk to the camera a lot especially 
at the beginning to provide all this like  
backstory and exposition of these characters which 
you actually don’t need. Like she has this whole  
speech about her dad being vain, like you don’t 
need that you just need to see the actor, who  
is Richard E. Grant who’s a great actor, be vain 
and then you get it that that character is vain.  
It was such a bizarre choice because the whole 
point of watching a film is that we’re seeing  
these actors act out the characters and through 
their acting we understand who the characters are.  
To have her verbally explain everything was such a 
boring choice. Back to the way they characterised  
Anne she’s become this really mean person. She’s 
like an alcoholic basically, they sort of make  
fun of the way she’s like always drinking and 
like has a hangover in the morning. It’s such  
a like wine mum thing of like glamorising 
loving wine but being sad, like I find it  
very old-fashioned and very childish really. And 
you can tell that the people who wrote this film  
think they’re appealing to young people when they 
are really not. But yeah I guess I could kind of  
understand her meanness if we were just hearing 
her inner monologues talking to the camera. Anne  
Elliot’s a really quiet softly spoken character in 
the book so you could imagine that she is thinking  
all these mean things about her family who are 
really horrible to her. But she’s like visibly  
mean to them as well and it’s actually quite 
uncomfortable to watch. They’ve really reduced  
the surrounding characters to stereotypes I 
felt as well. To the point that in the end it  
was just such a farce, like I couldn’t take this 
film seriously I was just laughing at it because  
it was so badly written. It’s so misunderstood 
the book, the point of the story. It just was  
like why are we even bothering with this film, 
why are you bothering to make this adaptation,  
what are we actually gaining from this, absolutely 
nothing as far as I can tell. I think that’s  
everything that I can think of to say about it at 
this point. Like I said before there’s so few Jane  
Austen adaptations that we get that it’s such a 
shame when they’re bad. And yeah sadly this one is  
really up there for being probably the worst 
one I’ve ever seen. It does look quite pretty,  
I found it a bit too glossy for my taste and yeah 
obviously you know their hair not always being  
properly done was not quite correct. But actually 
I thought the costuming was quite well done,  
it looked like they did a lot of location shooting 
which is always lovely. I sadly don’t recommend  
anyone watch it unless you were just super curious 
or like a Jane Austen adaptation completist.  
If you have seen it do let me know in the comments 
what you think about it. But I would recommend  
going and checking out the 90s adaptation which I 
think is just a perfect film, perfect adaptation,  
no need for anyone to make another one. So 
thanks for watching and I will see you soon. Bye!

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