Subtly Sexy Pride and Prejudice

Certain scenes have this amazing ability to transfer their energy, their passion, their desire to the viewer. I can’t really explain that feeling I get when this happens. It is quite wierd but wonderful and takes a very strange form. There’s a twisting, no, hmmm, squeezing, no, well, I can’t describe it, but just that there’s this feeling I get roughly in the centre of my abdomen and I think my fingers too. It sneaks up on me and I never know when to expect it. Sometimes it happens at a totally different point of the developing relationship, sometimes the same spot and sometimes not at all on the subsequent viewings. So, I can’t really pin-point the feeling. Does anyone know what I’m talking about? Anyway, so, to be perfectly honest, I don’t often get this feeling for an entire movie, usually just certain scenes. Except with Pride and Prejudice (2005). I found myself feeling with Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from their initial encounter right to the end. So, I’d say this movie just does it for me throughout.

Before I continue though, I just want to say that this post is not meant to be a literary analysis of the book or the movie, so please put the “literary” meanings and correctness aside for the next few paragraphs and also ignore how good an adaptation the movie is.

The sexiness starts from their first encounter. At the first dance event Mr Darcy, Mr Bingley and Caroline Bingley walk down the centre of the guests, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth catch each other’s eyes. It is not very obvious but they both briefly hesitate and I’m already sensing the chemistry. What heightens this for me is the lovely scenario where she’s able to talk to Mr Bingley so easily while Mr Darcy looks on. They’re very much aware of each other and in a strange way, I think this is such a wonderful flirt. Or, rather wonderful subconscious sexual tension. And then, this is turned up even more for me once he makes it clear he doesn’t dance and she goes on to enjoy herself anyway and has him watching her. Ah, there’s just something sexy about being watched by the man you’re attracted to while you’re pretending your not interested and hence just having fun! It is also sexy when a woman continues to enjoy herself and not putting her evening on hold because of a man. This dance is so full of sexiness: they have a go at each other around poetry shortly after Elizabeth overheard him say to Mr Bingley that she is “Barely tolerable, I dare say. But not handsome enough to tempt me”. I think this is a typical case of not admitting to a friend that you actually do like the person in question. And Elizabeth is not shy to tell him that she recommends “Dancing. Even if one’s partner is barely tolerable.” to “encourage affection.”

While Jane is sick at the Bingley residence, Elizabeth comes to visit. As she enters, Mr Darcy is totally reeling. That he didn’t bump the whole table or knock something over is amazing! You can see his gaze fixated on her long after she leaves. They’re so sensually sunk they don’t even know it yet. But I do. He’s oblivious to everything, even the snotty comments from Caroline go over his head. What a great man! He is totally smitten.

The most sexually charged scene for me is when Elizabeth departs from the Bingley house and Mr Darcy ever so briefly touches her hand to help her up. Both feel it. Without a doubt. I think he walks off flexing and contracting his hand less out of disgust but from being totally thrown from the electricity that was clearly there. I just love the potential it suggests.

Oh! Ah, what a scene where they dance together and end up being the only two people in the universe at that point. How could you miss that electricity where everyone else literally no longer exists.

Throughout the movie they catch each other’s gaze, breaking eye contact the moment the other looks at them. Both playing this game neither cares to admit. And each time, my tummy does that tumble. Ooh, and the most tummy tumbling scene is at the Bingley’s ball where they are clearly looking for each other. Searching, hoping not to but hoping to see each other and yet again playing a flirtatious game climaxing with him asking her to dance and getting a yes, surprising them both.

The visit to Lady Catherine is another lovely scene. Mr Darcy is just standing there watching her. Once again, their attraction is screaming out loud! And to unintentionally help things along, Lady Catherine seats them together. I’m sure the attractive static between them is enough to set even more sparks on fire. But, absolutely beautiful is when Elizabeth is playing the piano. In the background, Mr Darcy keeps looking over at her. He just can’t keep his eyes off her. And I think she knows that. She is secretly hoping he’ll notice her. Hoping he’ll come over. And when he finally does, she tempts him with “You mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all your state to hear me, but I won’t be alarmed even if your sister does play so well.” to which he replies “I am well enough acquainted with you, Miss Elizabeth, to know that I can not alarm you, even should I wish it.”

There are so many more tingling moments but I won’t go into them all, like the lip biting Mr Darcy briefly does when he wants to know if Elizabeth often walks with Mr Wickham, or…or…

But how can one not get all woozy with that scene near the end where neither could sleep and they meet up in the misty morning (or is it evening?). “You have bewitched me body and soul” oh for someone to get such a compliment…it just does it for me…

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15 comments

  1. Well! I’ve never watched this because Darcy *is* Colin Firth and Lizzie *is* Jennifer Ehle, and that’s all there is to it! But ooh, you may have talked me into it. Should I… will I… the temptation is overwhelming…

    Fantastic post! 😀

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  2. You have no idea with what pleasure I read this post. I wish I was the one who wrote it lol. Until now I thought I was the only with with thoughts on Pride & Prejudice (2005)’s subtle and powerful messages, but now I know I am not. I experience exactly the same feelings as you do when watching this movie. Aside from the fact that it is such a great adaptation, the subconscious stuff did really get to the viewer here, and I think it is very important in the movie like that when there are two characters who outwardly detest/ignore each other, but who, in their thoughts, start to “commit” and experience passionate sensations to one another without anyone else noticing. Did you know that the original title of the book was “First Impressions”? It does convey a lot. Brilliant post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve just made my day. Thanks so much for the wonderful response to my post. Much, much, much appreciated. And no, I didn’t know about “First Impressions”…wow, that really does convey loads and will change how I look at this story. Thanks again!!! 😀

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  3. Oh I know “that feeling” although I can’t remember the last time I experienced it. That’s probably why I enjoyed your post so much!
    Keira Knightley — well she’s never been a favourite actress of mine, and then along came “Pride & Prejudice.” She completely won me over with her great, energetic performance as Elizabeth Bennett. She made me feel like a mug, for ever thinking this remake was superfluous, and her chemistry with Matthew Macfadyen (a wonderful pick for Mark Darcy) was damn near smoking.

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