Anne Elliot (Dakota Johnson) has always been underestimated by her father Walter Elliot (Richard E. Grant) and sister Elizabeth (Yolanda Kettle). Believing they know best, they persuaded her not to marry the love of her life, Captain Frederick Wentworth, eight years ago. When Wentworth comes back into Anne’s life, however, sparks the internal struggle of moving forward with her life or giving him a second chance.

Loosely based off of Jane Austen’s final novel Persuasion, this adaption has sparked controversy with die hard fans. Over the years, there have been various versions of Austen’s work, particularly when it comes to Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Sense and Sensibility. While some have closely followed the source material (the Keira Knightley version of the former from 2005 rings a bell), others were a more modernized retelling (the now classic Clueless).

I, for one, was very much looking forward to this new version. I knew going into it that Netflix was giving it a new life and that was a welcome change. I liked the updated script and the fact that Anne interacted with the audience. It kept me totally invested in what was happening and like I was a part of the story too.

Dakota Johnson shined in the role of our protagonist. Her honesty and vulnerability was refreshing to watch. Another exceptional performance came from Mia McKenna-Bruce who played Anne’s younger sister Mary. Her spoiled brat ways could have come across as cringy but instead was anything but. I only wish the same could be said for the male leads. Cosmo Jarvis was fine, though nothing extraordinarily memorable and I wish we’d had more time with Henry Golding’s Mr. Elliot. He was brought it way too late in the game I almost didn’t see the point.

An Austen fan through and through, I was perfectly content with this new version of Persuasion. While it has been ages since I read the book, I was happy with it’s make over. It had everything I could have wanted: longing stares, witty banter, beautiful landscapes and stunning costumes that made me seriously question whether or not I was born in the correct century. Don’t let the negativity deter you – give this one a go!

Rating: ♥♥♥.5

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