Renato is an Italian chef who’s living in my home while I travel here, there and down the street. Last night, we sat down to watch a movie – Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley. It was an immense love story. Snapshots from the film stay with me:
1. The country dance at the beginning. Rows of happy people – smiling, laughing and clapping hands to the beat of the music. Intoxicating.
2. The severe Mr. Darcy referring to the beautiful young Lizzie as “tolerable” as she overhears the conversation. A human being as a thing, a piece of meat. How sad.
3. Later in the evening, Lizzie throwing Mr. Darcy’s words back at him, swirling around and walking away. The girl is afraid of nothing and no one. Who cares about relative status, about being socially appropriate, when your heart and soul need to express?
4. Mrs. Bennet running down the path after Lizzie when her daughter refused Mr. Darcy’s marriage proposal, in the spirit of “Come back here and marry him!” with dollar signs in her eyes. Thank God my mom wasn’t anything like that.
5. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet talking to Lizzie afterwards. “I’ll never speak to you again if you don’t marry him!” shouts her mother. Dad returns with “I’ll never speak to you again if you do.” He knows that there’ll be war in the bedroom but it’s far more important that he speak the truth.
6. Mr. Darcy’s barely visible Mona Lisa smile as he falls for Lizzie, such a contrast to the scowl he wore for the first part of the film. Despite his power in society, he can’t yet share his true feelings. As so we have the ache of love that most of us know well.
7. The first touch of hands. Mr. Darcy is helping Lizzie into the carriage and her wide-eyed wonder shines. Is he the one?
8. The final scene between Lady Catherine De Bourgh and Lizzie. She’s Mr. Darcy’s aunt.
“Miss Bennet, I warn you. I’m not to be trifled with.”
“Now tell me once and for all. Are you engaged to him?”
“I am not.” [with great sadness]
“And will you promise never to enter into such an engagement?”
“I will not and I certainly never shall. You have insulted me in every possible way and can now have nothing further to say. I must ask you to leave immediately … Goodnight.”
“I have never been thus treated in my entire life!”