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Jane Austen's Period Drama

average rating is 5 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Apr 27, 2024

Film Reviews
Jane Austen's Period Drama
Directed by:
Julia Aks, Steve Pinder
Written by:
Julia Aks, Steve Pinder
Julia Aks, Lachlan Ta’iuma Hannemann, Samantha Smart, Hugo Armstrong

Jane Austen is rightfully widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, and a pioneer for women in literature. Her works include the iconic ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Mansfield Park’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, and ‘Emma’, and over two hundred years laters her impact on popular culture remains. Most romance novels and films bare some feature or trope that was conceived by Austen, whilst her work has been immortalised on screen with film adaptations of her novels. The short film ‘Jane Austen’s Period Drama’ works both spoofing and in appreciation of Austen’s work, with incredibly witty and funny dialogue, it feels as though Austen was still alive with us.


The title itself is a witty play on words, with film adaptations of Austen’s work over the years generally labelled period dramas, this doubles up, also referring to a woman’s menstrual cycle. It’s an Austen story, with the modern day awareness about a women’s menstruation and periods. IT feels at times like the kind of story Austen would have written had there been an openness regarding the subject as there is today. Writers Julia Aks and Steve Pinder revel in the wit and wordplay of bending an Austen tale to modern sensibilities to hilarious effect.


Estrogenia Talbot, played by Julia Aks, has fallen in love with Mr. Dickley, who is played by Lachlan Ta’iuma Hannemann. Dickley, the Darcy of the film, is about to propose to Estrogenia when she gets her period, staining her dress. Unaware of periods, or frankly anything to do with women and the menstrual cycle, Dickley believes that she is injured, and abruptly sweeps her back to her home to receive medical assistance. Further hijinks ensue here, as we meet Estrogenia’s sisters, who are equally as wittily named, and their maid, Mrs. Bitts.


Aks and Pinder write the film with a knowing tone, and every actor is in on the joke. Each line is delivered with perfect comedic timing, in purposefully hammy tones, and particularly Aks herself as Estrogenia excels as the slightly bemused Estrogenia. Her chemistry with Lachlan Ta’iuma Hannemann is marvellous, and as Dickley he is magnificent in his own right, knowingly playing into the cluelessness of his character, and yet still managing to maintain a heartwarming sense that he is nonetheless a gentlemen despite his lack of awareness.


The film is also directed by Aks and Pinder with a similar visual wit and there is physical comedy to match the verbal humour. Overall, ‘Jane Austen’s Period Drama’ is a film that one would imagine Jane Austen herself would have approved of. It transforms and spoofs her iconic tropes with modern sensibilities and openness regarding the formerly taboo subject of menstruation, to raucously hilarious effect. You can’t help but wonder why this wasn’t made sooner.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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