When it comes to the characters of any other Jane Austen story, there are a few things that come to mind about the characters that she creates in her world. The first and most obvious is a strong female protagonist.
And second, she rather intimately shows the awkwardness of growing up in the 1800s. Both the pressures of a period drama society mixed with an old, more traditional stance on the burden of growing up. This classic tale is no different.
One thing that is rather charming about the story of Emma, is it multiple love triangles. Which are portrayed almost like a for lack of a better word “whimsical” version of musical chairs. When one person is seemingly in love with another person, that person is actually in love with another person, and frequently changing different opinions and different tastes in significant others as the film progresses. But this is not done in a dark or overly dramatic way. But rather in a loving and almost fun kind of way. Which is a tough thing to do when you have a group of main characters who are relatively young.
This kind of lightheartedness found in this particular version of the story, also presents us with a period film that is a little bit more lighthearted in nature than say what one might be accustomed to seeing. Which is practically almost unheard of since stories with similar plots and similar characters such as “Pride and Prejudice”, or “Weathering Heights” which usually give us a darker and more cynical idea of how love is handled regardless if there’s a happy ending attached to the final scene or not. Which is another reason why Emma is actually a little bit above the caliber of a story like Pride and Prejudice. It’s much more lighthearted and there are also much more likable characters in it.
The film is well casted with star Anya Taylor-Joy who practically steals the screen in every shot that she’s in. What films like “The Witch” and “Split” have undoubtedly shown that she is a good actress in her own right, “Emma” really shows how far she has come in her career, as well showing us a much greater range of the actress she will become in the near future.
Emma is delightful tale of love, friendship, and whimsical comedy. And like any classic tale, it never ceases to please.
Final Score: 7/10