Bright Star a Poetic Love Story that was Written and Directed by Jane Campion
How it works
“Bright Star” was a depiction of a poetic love story. It was written and directed by Jane Campion in 2009, a romance about the famous poet, John Keats, the main character. John Keats wrote the famous poem “Bright Star” in 1819. The poetry romance portrays John Keats’ life, including his next-door neighbor, Fanny Brawne, and their life in the early 1800s. John Keats and his neighbor, Fanny Brawne, became lovers and did everything together. However, the fairytale of love came to an end when John Keats died at the young age of twenty-five from pulmonary tuberculosis.
In 2009, Jane Campion brought the famous poem “Bright Star” back to life in a romantic film. “Bright Star” explored the life of John Keats and his lover, Fanny Brawne, in the early 1800s. John Keats never suppressed his brilliant poetic mind. His lover, Fanny, lived next door with her brother, sister, and mother in the Hampstead cottages. As a family, they spent their time as dressmakers and seamstresses, creating beautiful clothing. John Keats lived with his best friend, Charles Brown, and wrote poetry to pass the time. When Keats and Brawne discovered each other, they couldn’t deny the connection they shared. Charles Brown viewed Fanny with some jealousy, feeling that she was distracting Keats from his excellent work. They knew their love was unique, and it sent them both into a whirlwind of emotions for each other.
Their intimacy included walks and discussions about remarkable things. Their extraordinary love and shared fondness motivated Keats to write even greater poetry, which eventually proved Charles Brown wrong. Amidst all the laughter and love they shared, they experienced the heartbreak of their relationship due to Keats’s low income and premature death. Fanny Brawne was devastated when he left in search of a livelihood as a poet. Just when Fanny Brawne thought their love was over, Keats came back with the outlandish idea of getting married. Charles Brown disapproved and so did Fanny Brawne’s mother. Her mother recognized that John Keats lacked the financial stability to get married and that his health was deteriorating. Upon proposing marriage, Keats had to move away from Fanny once again to seek medical help. The relationship tragically ended when Fanny Brawne received news of her fiancé’s death at the young age of twenty-five.
Jane Campion incorporated John Keats’ words perfectly into the movie “Bright Star.” It was genius to include lines from the poet’s work to provide insight into the stories told by Keats and his creative mind. She allows the question of how Keats and Brawne can continue their love without income, while Keats is becoming deathly ill, to linger throughout the movie. A famous poem written by him, “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” was included in the film. “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is about a youth, immortalized in a chase of the maid he is dearly in love with but will never attain. It’s evident that John Keats wrote this about his love for Fanny Brawne. Campion allows the viewers to visualize everything happening in the movie, from the silence of a country lane to a bird chirping. The emotions she evoked within the movie were unforgettable, from the startling kiss between the two lovers, to Keats’ separation from Brawne, and finally his death. Jane Campion doesn’t delve as deeply into the poem’s intimate interactions between the two lovers in her interpretation of the film. The most poignant part of “Bright Star” was Keats’ death, which concluded the movie. The silence and the final announcement delivered the ultimate shock of the movie.
Jane Campion was the mastermind behind Bright Star, although it was the characters in the movie that moved the audience. John Keats was played by Ben Whishaw, Fanny Brawne by Abbie Cornish, Mrs. Brawne by Kerry Fox, Samuel Brawne by Brodie-Sangster, Toots by Edie Martin, and Charles Brown by Paul Schneider. This was a powerful set that played their roles exceptionally well. Ben Whishaw portrayed Keats as a man older than his actual self, who is deeply focused on poetry. Abbie Cornish’s performance was outstanding; her emotion compelled the audience to want to watch more, to understand her feelings because she was so deeply affected by everything related to Keats. Paul Schneider surprised the audience with his distinct personality, which differentiated him from everyone else in the movie. His accent and attitude remained consistent throughout. Kerry Fox made the audience feel as though they were Fanny Brawne’s mother, due to her strong opinions on Keats and her protective nature over Fanny as she grappled with her own sadness and confusion.
In the film, there were several pieces of poetry quoted from the poem “Bright Star”. The poetry added a delightful highlight to the film and the performances of the actors. “I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain” (Bright Star). This suggests that their love is so strong and powerful that, in just three days, their love could surpass fifty years. It is undeniable that their love is greater than anything they both could ever have. “There is a holiness to the heart’s affections. Know you nothing of that?” (Bright Star) Keats recites this, implying that there is a Christian connection to this sentiment, and the person he’s addressing cannot relate to it. These are just a few of the quotes in the movie connected to “Bright Star.”
A film review for “Bright Star,” written and directed by Jane Campion, was thoroughly thought out throughout the entire movie. She selected the most brilliant quotes for the perfect times between the lovers. She kept the audience on their toes with the silence of loneliness and time to think. The unexpected kiss, departure, and engagement left the audience gasping for answers and more. All in all, Jane Campion excelled at not letting the audience succumb to low spirits during the duration of the film.