If there is one thing Jane Austen is excellent at, it is writing lovably comical characters who wear pride like a second skin. Even supporting characters such as Sir Walter are not exempt.

Hence, when I found out that Persuasion was getting a movie adaptation movie with Dakota Johnson cast in the lead role, I had my doubts. After Dakota’s shy doe-caught-in-headlights role in 50 Shades of Grey and the ensuing movies, I was worried she would not pull off Anne to satisfaction. However, I am ecstatic to find out that I worried in vain. There was no fault to be seen in her portrayal of the character, Anne.

Persuasion begins with one very important question, “Who needs romance when one has… family?” This is quickly followed by another truth; “Family is only escapable by two things: marriage and death.” It was all I needed to remember why Jane Austen is so dearly loved and why I would jump blindly to her defence any day, anytime. I am a Nigerian after all so I deeply understand just how much pull family has over issues ranging from the partner that I, not them, will spend the rest of my life with to things like what I wear to family functions.

The movie is a retelling of the story of two lovers who are forced to part because of the prejudices that came, and in many places still come, with a female marrying someone from a lower tax bracket. Anne, the protagonist, is forced to part with the man her heart longs for because he is much poorer. Fast forward through eight years of misery and a captaincy, Wentworth is no longer a nobody. However, he apparently is an idiot.

It goes on to follow these two as they meet again, giving us a hilariously endearing peek into what courtship was like 200 years ago as well as how little the process has changed since then. Our consistency and dedication are decidedly laudable. From making playlists to ignoring each other, humans have definitely remained steadfast on how falling in love should go.

Just when you get comfortable in the promise of romance, Persuasion reiterates some hard truths that we would much rather ignore like the fact that if your friend recommends a man to you and you dillydally, your friend is well within her rights to take her recommendation back and pursue him for herself. Yes, women will shame you, just like men because the man you have pining after eight years will welcome your friend’s affection, knowing fully well that she is your friend. Although to be accurate, it is not shaming because they are both single and entirely free to pursue whomever they wish.

Persuasion, although set 200 years ago, is a heart-warming movie about love, life, hope and of course, heartbreak. It reminds us to hold on regardless of how bad our breakfast might have been, though the protagonist in this story cooked it herself. It also leaves us with the reminder that no matter how bad things seem after a heartbreak;

If you have seen the movie, let me know what you thought. Was justice done to the original piece by Jane Austen? If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend doing so.

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