To produce a great period drama is no easy task. The pressure of portraying accurate information, events is all a big task. Also, representing a different era in terms of that modern audience finds it appealing and appropriate. Emma, Pride, and Prejudice, and many such films bagged appreciation from critics and audiences both.

Accordingly, here are the top period drama films based on books to watch


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Adapted from Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice is one of the most fascinating period dramas. Romance and marriage are the epicenters of Austen’s novels and Pride & prejudice is the perfect example.

Wealthy and privileged Fitzwilliam Darcy with his sister and friends attends a ball at Loungbourn. At the same ball, Mrs. Benett takes her 5 daughters (Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia) to find an eligible prince for them. All of them meet each other. While Bingley(one of Darcy’s friends) hits off with Jane, Elizabeth dislikes bumptious Darcy. She finds him arrogant and rude and hates him more when she overhears Darcy making remarks on her.

Elizabeth gets a proposal for the hand of marriage from her tedious Willian Collins and she declines. William ends up marrying one of ‘Lizabeth’s friends in order to prove to her that no one will be interested in marrying her. Elizabeth perks up when she meets Mr. Wickman, a soldier. He tells her some distressing news about Darcy which makes her hate Darch more. But fate has some other plans for Elizabeth and Darcy.

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The film has a captivating screen version of Austen’s manners of comedy in the book. Keira Knightley playing Elizabeth Benett has stolen the show. She is satirical, headstrong, judgemental but also filled with romance. On the other hand, Mr. Darcy is stubborn and proud which he finds in Elizabeth too which makes him adore her more.

Joe Wright has made the film to breathe out of pages of the book. He made the film more alive and fresh. Comparing this version with the 1940 film, 1995 miniseries, the 2005 version is the best with commendable acting skills and direction.


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A story of three eggs, Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby is an exquisite view. The film is a narration of Nick Carraway, the next-door neighbor of Jay Gatsby, the millionaire of the town. Nick is also the cousin of Jay’s former love interest Daisy.

The film is a narration by Nick attempting therapy sessions for his depression and alcoholism when he moves to New York in the West District of Long Island. The place is filled with a rich, fashionable group of fortunate who never miss a tiny chance of flaunting their wealth. Besides Nick’s house, is a gigantic gothic mansion with a man, Jay Gatsby living in it who throws massive parties every weekend. As the summer processes, Nick garners an invitation to one of Jay’s bashes. At the party, Nick finally meets Jay himself, a handsome English man. In his further introduction to Nick, Jay tells him about Daisy and how he was once in love with her. Now every party he throws is an attempt to catch Daisy’s attention who lives across the bay. Now Gatsby urges Nick to arrange a reunion with Daisy.

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The film is full of lights and dance. The director Luhrmann unfolds every manipulation of flashbacks, split screens, smash zooms. Tempting music of the jazz era has enhanced the film along with a great cast.


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Wash Westmoreland’s Colette is an energizing and grasping biopic of French literary Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. The film portrays an era of 1893, how a mediocre girl who suffers in 1893 to marriage and commercial exploitation by an old mediocre critic and publisher Willy who also happened to be her husband.

A country girl, Sidonie-Gabriel Colette is wooed by literary critic and publisher, Henri Gauthier-Villars, pen named Willy. The marriage opens the door for Colette to live her life in Paris. She soon learns to adjust and enjoy her husband’s cosmopolitan life. The fate chances when her semi-autobiographical tales of the journey from being young to maturity becomes a sensation in the streets of Paris by the name of Claudine under her husband’s publishing company. The success of her book inspires her to fight for her title ownership and explore her identity by fighting societal constraints.

The film is highly enjoyable, inspiring and deserves great applause. Keira Knightley proves herself as the leading light of the period dramas again with her performance in the film. The film adds knowledge to modern sensibility.

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Adapted from Ian McEwan’s book, Atonement is a tale of two lovers, Cecilia Tallis and Robbie Turner who gets torn apart from a lie made up by Cecilia’s jealous sister following punishing consequences. The film takes place during WW II.

The story works with three characters, Cecilia Tallis, a young woman spending her summer with her family in her mansion. The son of local groundsman, Robbie Turner, who now works on behalf of his father. And third is Cecilia’s younger sister, Briony. She has a teenage crush on Robbie. Robbie has strong feelings towards Cecilia which he intensely wants her to know. When the feelings results being comparable, both share a heating moment in the library of the mansion witnessed by Briony. Jealousy and heartbreak make Briony compulsive of accusing Robbie of a crime, he did not commit. The accusation results in the arrest of Robbie and sending him as a trooper in ongoing World War II.

Years after, Briony spends her life seeking atonement from her sister which she couldn’t get. The film’s catharsis follows that the atonement was a process of writing a preceding novel by Briony who is now 77. She is been diagnosed with irreversible dementia. She reveals that Both, Robbie and Cecilia perished in the war but she made them live through her fiction.

Joe Wright has done justice to the novel perfectly. The film lives through color and authentic production design. Each period and scene is compelling. It is really hard to leave the film without watching it till the end.