Emma – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Emma – Satire in Time, Love is Folly

Period pieces can bring the splendid of the unknown.  By putting focus on a certain era, it brings audiences to times where the serene of the old becomes a journey anew.  Marked by genres and storytelling, it is the strength of characters that make the escape a truly, gratifying experience.  Based on a Jane Austen novel, Emma tells the story of romance and fate.  With an enjoyable cast and some endearing moments, Emma is a genuine tale of the familiar ideas of love.   

Taking place in England during the 1800s, we follow Emma (Anya Taylor-Joy), a young girl who likes to meddle in her friends’ affairs.  Pushing forward with her own agenda, she must face hard truths of what it means to be in love.  With any film in this genre, the first task is to engross the audience within an unfamiliar world.  The filmmakers do it by combining slice of life themes within the art of conversation.  You are thrust into Emma’s world through subtlety of dialogue, discovering bits and pieces about her situation and why she begins to meddle with other affairs.  From her father, brother-in-law to her close friend, you follow her everyday interactions through honest reflection of human behavior.  This allows for plotlines to mold within characterization, allowing for situations to feel organic and unpredictable within familiar character tropes and foreshadowing techniques.  This is slow character growth within conversational exposition, body mannerism and situation of consequence.  Seeing Emma go through the even flow of her decisions reveals her flaws in always needing to be right.  You never completely disregard the sincerity of her motives, but you understand her selfish shortcomings towards the ones she cares about in her life. 

As Emma continues to meddle within everyone’s affairs, it begins to have a ripple effect upon her own personal growth.  Her ideals become construed within her friendship with Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn).  The indifference of decisions become more prudent, creating a sensual attraction between the two individuals.  Predictable it may be, the touch of romance is pulled above because of the witty dialogue and organic progression of their chemistry.  Everything feels natural, bringing about the folly and excitement of what may come next.  As the story moves into the third act, everything comes together with a threading of unexpected delights.  This leads to a climax that is familiar but welcomed.  Emma is a period piece that pushes forward romance through a different styling of dialogue.  Even when the obvious is apparent, the journey and character development reign supreme.  This is a definite treat for those that like period pieces and romantic films.

Full Score – 3.5 out of 5 (Matinee)

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