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Opening Date
05 Mar 2020
PG Brief Nudity
125 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Comedy, Drama
Autumn de Wilde
Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Tanya Reynolds, Connor Swindells
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of EMMA. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.
By Abel Teo  07 Mar 2020
If you are an Austen fan, be prepared to be surprised by the new take on the characters which will no doubt raise some eyebrows.
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Emma is the heroine that had George Knightley treat as an equal in spite of the role women played during the Regency. Released over the International Women’s Day weekend, it plays to the idea that the degree of freedom that women enjoyed depended on her status in life as illustrated in the novel. How far have we come since, and yet more can be said and done.

This is not the first time that the Jane Austen classic has been adapted for the big screen. The most prominent one before this saw Gwyneth Paltrow playing the title character in the 1996 film adaptation, and reprised by relatively unknown Anya Taylor-Joy in this one. It’s hard not to compare the two films, but they are more different than they are similar in their leap from page to screen.

While 1996’s Emma was what one would expect of the novel’s adaptation and seeing some of Jane Austen’s favourite characters come to life, this Emma is really a transplantation of modern sense and sensibilities into that world, a world that we are made to feel isn’t that much different from ours. The cast is younger and closer to their literary counterparts here, with Taylor-Joy’s Emma exuding a greater shade of petulance than Paltrow’s. You see the not-yet-a-woman, no-longer-a-girl teenager that we are not unfamiliar with today with this treatment. While Toni Colette played Harriet Smith flawlessly, Mia Goth’s version is undoubtedly the personification of the simple and eager-to-please character. As for Mr Knightley, Jeremy Northam undoubtedly is still the quintessential but modern gentleman, and cannot be trumped by Johnny Flynn’s portrayal, who lacks a certain gravitas what Northam so comfortably anchored.

It is the characters that drive the story, as the setting is still very much what you would expect from a period film of that time. Miss Bates in the previous film was the standout caricature, but it’s Emma’s father, Mr Woodhouse, unquestionably the one to laugh at this time, played by who else but Bill Nighy.

The film moves at a fairly quick pace, which will suit this decade’s audience's lack of patience without sacrificing too much of the story arc, but some character motivations and foibles are assumed indirectly to be familiar to the audience, such as those of Mrs Elton and Frank Churchill. 

If you are an Austen fan, be prepared to be surprised by the new take on the characters which will no doubt raise some eyebrows. After all, "(Emma) always deserves the best treatment, because (she) never puts up with any other".
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