Mr. Darcy (Er…Colin Firth Really) Rises From The Waters of The Serpentine

A swimmer approaches a statue meant to depict actor Colin Firth performing as Mr. Darcy, a character in Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice" at the Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, London, Monday, July 8, 2013. (Courtesy: AP)

A swimmer approaches a statue meant to depict actor Colin Firth performing as Mr. Darcy, a character in Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” at the Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, London (Courtesy: AP)

This news made me laugh out loud. Yes, black women can appreciate a Mr. Darcy, even though he is a stick in the ass.  Men are men.

From The Guardian:

The notorious scene in the nation’s favourite BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, in which Colin Firth as Mr Darcy emerges wet-shirted and dripping from the lake of his country estate after an impromptu swim, has been celebrated in the shape of a 12-foot sculpture of the romantic hero.

The statue of superhuman proportions has been temporarily installed in the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park, London, and will tour the UK before settling at its final home in Lyme Park, Cheshire, where the eye-catching scene was filmed.

The reason why it was so notorious in the UK is that the scene never occurred in Austen’s Regency-era novel.  Naturally, the academics on both sides of the Atlantic pounced for the inaccuracy.  It wasn’t so much a big deal here in the United States, but it sure was appreciated.

Of course, it was artistic license being  extended, but it made Colin Firth into an instant sex god for showing every little inch of his torso and pecs under that wet shirt, and it cemented this cinematic version of Pride and Prejudice as the chick-lit movie of 1995. Rewrites of a beloved story are nothing new, but they are becoming more far believable and more enjoyable, instead of imagining between the lines.  In a 2006 version of Jane Eyre, which was shown on Masterpiece Theater, the emotional torture that Jane feels in the hours after she finds that Rochester has a living spouse is compounded when the thwarted Rochester (Toby Stephens) enters her room and  kisses and caresses Jane (Ruth Wilson) while both are prone on her bed, trying to get her to agree to come away with him as his mistress.

Even in a flick like Lost in Austen that scene had to be replicated for the modern heroine, Amanda Price, who seems to have become Darcy’s Elizabeth Bennet:

“I suppose it is inevitable that Pride and Prejudice be best known for a scene that Austen never wrote,” commented critic and Austen expert John Mullan, author of What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved. “This is an installation that celebrates the imagination of Andrew Davies rather than that of Jane Austen.”

Well, I think Davies was also playing up to the female audience’s need these days for a discreet, but necessary display of male pulchritude.  This scene has been voted by Britons as the most memorable on the BBC:

So what’s the most memorable moment in a British TV drama? Dirty Den divorcing Angie on EastEnders? Sherlock plunging to his death (or not)? Or what about the big Coronation Street tram crash? Wrong, wrong and wrong again. A UKTV survey (to mark the launch of its Drama channel) has voted Colin Firth‘s sopping wet shirt scene in Pride and Prejudice the most memorable TV drama moment, reports the Sun.  […]

The fiberglass statue of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy will remain in the Serpentine until February, 2014 (Courtesy: AP)

The fiberglass statue of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy will go on tour at various locales until it ends up in Cheshire in the lake on the property where the 1995 “Pride and Prejudice” was filmed February, 2014 (Courtesy: AP)

Thing is, though, the statue itself is coming in for some levity, particularly on the Twitterverse.  It looks like Firth/Darcy, and then it doesn’t look like Firth/Darcy, and it looks a bit weird.  Me, I think these guys overstepped.  Waaaay overstepped.  Paraphrasing Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces, he was better in my head.

The figure has a rather bewildered look, as if it cannot believe that there is a shore.  That’s not the look Darcy had when he got out of the water.

One woman, Larissa Archer, proclaimed on Twitter that “Wow. Who knew anything involving Colin Firth could be so tacky? Giant statue of Firth’s Mr Darcy built in Hyde Park.”

Who knew indeed.  I suggest tourists coming to Britain check out where the statue will make its next stop over the interim, and see it to believe it.

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~ by blksista on July 8, 2013.

 
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