‘Persuasion’ (2022) Plot Synopsis
Directed by Carrie Cracknell and written by Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow, Netflix’s Persuasion adapts one of Jane Austen’s most beloved novels. Anne Elliot (Dakota Johnson) rejected her love, Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis), eight years ago.
Ever since, she’s regretted letting her mentor persuade her away from him. When Anne and Wentworth reunite, she’s penniless and love-struck. He, however, is a rich captain–and he holds a grudge.
Why did Anne reject Wentworth?
Persuasion is set eight years after a certain event–Anne Elliot rejecting the proposal of Lieutenant Frederick Wentworth. Anne and Wentworth loved each other deeply. However, at 19, Anne was easily swayed by the opinions of others.
Anne’s mentor, Lady Russell, had different plans for the young woman than marrying a poor lieutenant in the Royal Navy. So, she persuaded Anne to reject Wentworth’s proposal and hold out for a more suitable prospect.
What happens to the Elliot family?
Eight years later, the Elliot family (Anne, her father, and her sister) face mountains of debt due to the spending habits of Anne’s vain father, Sir Walter Elliot. Debt collectors arrive and seize all of their possessions, forcing them to move to Bath.
Anne stays behind to welcome new tenants, the Admiral and Mrs Croft, who just so happens to be Wentworth’s sister.
Do Anne and Wentworth meet again?
Anne, while visiting her sister Mary in Uppercross, sees Frederick Wentworth for the first time in eight years. Things have changed, however. He’s a wealthy captain now, and he acts coldly towards Anne, having long held a grudge against her rejection of him.
Eventually, the two become friends again. Still, Anne jealously watches as he courts her brother-in-law’s sister, Louisa.
Later, Anne hears from Lady Russell that Wentworth and Louisa are engaged. It’s finally, time, it seems, to give up on the love of her life.
Who is William Walter Elliot?
When Anne joins her family in Bath, they host a visitor named William Walter Elliot. Mr. Elliot is especially flirtatious with Anne, which surprises her. Years ago, he scorned her sister Elizabeth to marry another woman for money. A widow now, it seems he’s searching for status and trying to get back into her family’s good graces (which isn’t too difficult).
Mr. Elliot soon confesses to Anne that he’s trying to keep her father from getting remarried to the widow Mrs. Clay. As Sir Walter’s heir, Mr. Elliot will lose his title if Sir Walter marries and has a son.
Of course, Anne doesn’t care much for her family, so she doesn’t much mind Mr. Elliot’s schemes. They get along well, and he even proposes to her. Anne doesn’t yet give him an answer, however.
Do Anne and Captain Wentworth end up together?
When Wentworth sees how close Anne and Mr. Elliot have become, he tells Anne that he’s decided to return to the Navy.
At his send-off party, Anne speaks to another captain. He informs her that Louisa is engaged to Captain Benwick, not Captain Wentworth. Wentworth then overhears Anne say that women love longer than men.
Wentworth leaves a letter with Anne and then leaves. In it, he confesses his feelings for her. It turns out that he never stopped loving her.
Anne chases after him (passing by Mr. Elliot, who has Mrs. Clay in his arms). Not even caring about Mr. Elliot’s betrayal, Anne wishes them happiness. She catches up with Wentworth, and they kiss.
Persuasion ends with Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Clay getting married (that’s one way to keep her from marrying Sir Walter). Meanwhile, Anne and Captain–already married, as signified by the ring on Anne’s finger–prepare to set sail together.
What are the themes in ‘Persuasion’ (2022)?
Persuasion (2022) borrows several themes from Jane Austen’s novel: the absurdity of social class barriers, unjust gender roles, and learning from one’s past mistakes.
A significant difference is seen in the two endings, however. The ending of the book has Anne and Wentworth married, but implies that Anne will struggle due to Wentworth’s profession, especially if he is called to serve in a future war.
The 2022 movie ends on a lighter note, attempting a more blatantly feminist message. Early in the film, Wentworth says to Anne that the gender roles forced upon their society are unfair–after all, she’d make a great admiral. In the end, she gets to go to sea with her husband. The last scene implies that they will travel widely together, just like Admiral Croft and his wife.