Facing a loved one who is dying is not for the feint of heart. Amongst my mom’s physical discomfort, delirium, and fear of death, she has managed to find what comforts her & cling to that. One of these comforts just so happens to be the film Pride and Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright in 2005. Spending time with Mom watching this movie over & over has had an impact, and I felt compelled to thank Mr. Wright, and the film company for creating this beautiful production. A Christmas card with the letter below is in the mail. –Marissa
Dear Mr. Wright,
I drove back from my mother’s nursing home last night in tears again, yet again. Not from witnessing her tough day, watching her decline from her three-year battle with cancer that is near its end. Not from the regrets I have, leaving to work on my own film project this Autumn instead of staying with her when she was better able to share her stories & recipes.
No, I cried from watching your film, Pride and Prejudice. It’s Mom’s favorite. Watching it helps her calm down. She loved the music so much, she bought the soundtrack & put it on her iPod. Now, when anxiety of the inevitable hits her, when the tentacles of fear grip her, and she resists the peace needed to reach the relief of passing to the next life, she asks for your production to be played. It soothes her.
She fell in love with Matthew Macfayden’s Mr. Darcy. The scenery, the tension, the drama unfolding between the young people in the film really sweep her away, away from the three years of chemo-suffering, away from the pain of losing her son, my brother, to cancer in February this year. Your glorious rendition of Jane Austen’s novel brings her so much peace, Mr. Wright. Peace she desperately needs, and justly deserves after all she’s suffered. Peace I I wish I could give her, but I’m just her daughter, not a hunky actor.
Although I could never got into Jane Austen while reading Pride and Prejudice in high school, your rendition changed my tune. After watching it the umpteenth time, Mr. Darcy’s character has grown on me, as well as Macfayden’s portrayal (despite his bulbous nose). Now I understand why women all over the world relate to the Elizabeth Bennet character: Keira Knightly’s portrayal offers so much, any woman could see a piece of herself in that role (even me). 10th grade English Literature class was never so vibrant as this.
Never in a bajillion years did I think I’d cry at the end of a sappy, romantic, schlocky love story. But, witnessing a family member die will soften the hardest of hearts, I believe. I’m grateful to receive the gift of vulnerability, even though it came at such a cost. Because of this gift, I’m able to revel in the love story you brought to life, thinking the shlock is charming. Somehow, Mr. Wright, you found a way to make love cool again. And not so scary. Maybe…
There is a tremendous amount of junk out in the world of entertainment today. You, the cast & crew, and Focus Films have done a good thing, all of you. You have brought beauty into the world, and offered it to everyone. You have placed a salve on a damaged mother-daughter relationship, giving us something to talk about besides our daily horror, waiting, wondering, passing time til “the day”. You have given my mom the ability to hope, that once she leaves this world, she may find a world of great nature, kind fathers, and sweet sisters to be in, and hunky love interests, (of course!) just like the one you created. And, you’ve given people like me who’ve been marred by two tragedies in one year, a break for a change, a chance for a mental breather, a small two-hour window to cope.
Thank you for the courage, tenacity, and vision it took to manifest Pride and Prejudice in exactly the way you did. When my mom finally passes on, I’ll be sure to keep the DVD with me, always remembering those days in the nursing home, watching her doze off to the lovely piano in the soundtrack.
My deepest heartfelt thanks,
K. Marissa Krupa