Monday, April 26, 2021

Darcy—Matthew or Colin? Tricia McGill

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I have recently viewed the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice once again and of course could not avoid comparing the portrayal of Darcy as done by Matthew Macfadyen with Colin Firth’s version in the 1995 TV series. Much as I like Matthew as an actor, Colin will always remain my favourite and favourite to many others it seems. To me Matthew’s portrayal was much too severe for my liking, even though we all know that was how he was meant to play it, he came across as just plain bad tempered to me. There were many times when I wanted to shake a smile out of him. We all know that Darcy and Jane had their many differences and it is most likely that my annoyance with Matthew came from knowing of course that he would come round in the end and succumb to the wit and charm of Elizabeth, splendidly portrayed by Keira Knightly in this version. But even then he didn’t seem too enchanted to me. 

I have to admit that from all the characters, my favourite will always be Mr. Bennett, portrayed in this version by Donald Sutherland. His humorous patience with his twittering wife whose abiding aim in life is to marry her daughters off to wealthy gentlemen and his witty comments on all that is going on around him in that hectic household are outstanding. Above all, despite his seeming detachment, his love for his daughters shines through and steals the show. How times have changed. Although there are many differences between 1830 and now, there will always be mothers who are set on finding the best partners for their daughters. And always mothers who are disappointed with the choices made.

Another of my favourite characters is Elizabeth’s friend Charlotte who does not view life through tinted lenses. Realistically she sees that she is never likely to win the affections of a handsome gent who will sweep her off her feet for she is no beauty, although not plain, and knows that she will have to be satisfied with second best. To Elizabeth’s dismay, she accepts that a marriage with the pompous and idiotic Mr. Collins will bring her a house that she can call her own. It is a blessing that she does find contentment in this house. But isn’t this so true to life even these days when many are forced to accept second best matches. 

I wonder what Jane would think of her book being played out in so many different ways on the screen. Most authors desire to see their work made into a movie or TV series, I know I do, and are forever disappointed. Perhaps she is up yonder somewhere enjoying the fame. I do hope so. 

Tricia McGill Web Page


  1. Colin Firth remains my favorite Mr. Darcy, too. I still view that series on occasion. Keep writing

  2. Lovely post and I have to say I am torn. Can I say the Matthew Macfadyen/Keira Knightly is my favourite film version, and Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle was my favourite TV version.

  3. Colin Firth, the actor and Donald Sutherland, the actor, are talented performers. I have not seen both versions of P and P, so I can't compare. But I do love Colin and Donald. Thank you for your thoughtful take on the 2 versions.

  4. I love both actors, too, but Colin Firth is definitely my favorite. Thanks for the post.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, and it looks like Colin is the favourite by most.


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