What is the point of view of the 1995 film of Jane Austen's Persuasion, directed by Roger Michell?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Finding the point of view in film is actually a lot similar to finding the point of view in piece of writing. In writing, the narrator of the story reflects the point of view. If we see the story narrated in the first person, then we know we have a first person point of view. If we see it narrated by a voice outside of the characters and storyline, then we know that the point of view is either third person or objective, depending on if we hear the thoughts of the characters or just see the actions ("Narrative Point of View"). A lot of films do not contain voice-over narrators; therefore, for the most part, the point of view of film is third person objective. However, a lot of times an objective film point of view can focus on one character or another, making it a limited third person objective point of view.

When analyzing the point of view of film, we have to notice what characters the camera is focusing on. For example, in Persuasion, we see the camera focusing on Anne a great deal, especially portraying her emotions. One good example is towards the beginning of the film when the camera shows Anne alone in an attic, packing, and looking at a letter folded in the shape of a boat, hidden in a book. The camera gives us a closeup of her face, showing us her silent emotions. Also, when Captain Wentworth begins socializing with the Musgroves and comes to call on Mary and Anne at the cottage the morning after dining for the first time at Uppercross, the camera focuses on Anne as she silently greets him and silently observes him. The camera is allowing us to see all of the pain she is silently feeling in his presence. Hence, we see that point of view is limited to Anne; it is only Anne's story that the camera is really interested in.

However, while we observe Anne's pain in her silence, we never hear her thoughts except what she says out loud, hence we know that the point of view is objective rather than subjective. Nor is the point of view omniscient, because even an omniscient narrator would get inside of characters' heads.

Therefore, we know that the point of view for the film Persuasion is third person objective, with a limited focus on Anne.

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