”Does it not strike you with odd that she should play so wonderfully, play Beethoven with such passion, and live so quietly? I suspect one day, music and life will mingle. Then she will be wonderful in both.”
This is one of those period films I’ve seen lately but haven’t had time to write about. Before starting with my usual way of writing and adding gifs without control, let me tell you a couple things:
I totally LOVE the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film, it’s one of my very favourite films in every way (the cast, the music, the costume design, the art…).
I also love bad films. Like really bad films. The kind of films that you see the poster and you already know that they will be bad (think about something like “I, Frankenstein” or “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” or “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) and they are fun because these are not pretentious films, they just deliver what you expect and if you go see them with a good mood, then you might even be surprised. Or not. That’s the charm of bad films.
Now, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is not such a bad film. I don’t know why, but it perfectly works together. It was rather amazing. Let me tell you about it.
First, you MUST suspend disbelief. The film starts and tells you that before the story starts, there was a zombie uprising/epidemy and that now people have learnt to live with this. And in that world is where our story happens.
Before anything, we meet Mr Darcy (insert sight here), who is the hot-but-weird Sam Riley. I have to say that I had never thought anything about his voice until I saw this movie, but it’s quite… nasal, I guess? I don’t know, weird voice.
He also wears all black. And has a katana. Because of course.
I have to say that in my heart, Keira Knightley will always be THE Elizabeth Bennet.
And also I’m not that fond of Lily James, even though I love her in Downton Abbey. I don’t know why, but she doesn’t seem to me like the right Lizzie. But whatever.
Bella Heathcote is perfect as Jane Bennet. Actually I think she’s perfect in all period films ever XD
Mr Bingley (Douglas Booth) is SO gorgeous, just like taken from a Burberry ad and taken back to the Regency era (I don’t know if that makes any sense).
And talking about Mr Bingley, I liked the way that the relationship between Darcy and Bingley is portrayed: they trust their lives to each other. That kind of friendship seems tough and great.
And Collins. OH MY FUCKIN GOD, COLLINS! Matt Smith is HILARIOUS. Totally loved him as the odd, silly and awkward Collins. Perfect humour with perfect timing.
I love that Wickham (Jack Huston) is a little more important to the story and really makes you think if he’s actually wrong or not (I didn’t find a gif :( )
Now, let’s check the important part: the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth.
Well it follows (obviously) the usual Pride & Prejudice line, but we have these fun/awesome moments of them together:
When they meet at the ball (because zombies or not zombies, there must be a ball)
When he “saves” her from a zombie-lady
When he declares his love…
and she starts a fight (I couldn’t help laughing here).
And of course, the battlefield
In other highlights we have: the ball fight
The Bennet sisters training
Darcy and Caroline reciting “the accomplished lady” list
Mr Bingley on a horse (or next to the horse since there’s no gif)
and finally the bridge explosion
Charles Dance not being a creepy dude as in GoT
Now, the costume design: there are some very good things like most of the menswear
but there’s also the WHOLE underwear for the ladies. Tights. Bloomers. Really? REALLY?!
even though most of the dresses and coats look rather good.
Final thoughts: Are you looking for a faithful version of the Austen novel? Then don’t see this movie. Are you just wanna have fun and you love Matt Smith and/or zombies? Go see it now.
Also, I have to say that it’s pretty amazing the way that the original story and conflicts work in any setting and era: from a modern romcom to this zombie version. Jane Austen’s writing is just so… universal? Perfect? I don’t know but I have to say that even with all the fun/weird/crazy stuff going on in this film, the way that the core of the novel is untouched is just wonderful. I guess it’s just what happens with great literature.
And I LOVE what they did with the female characters: there’s not a single one who is not badass and strong. From each Bennet sister to Lady Catherine de Bourgh (ok, maybe Mrs Bennet is kind of boring, but that’s her point in the story).
Name: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies
Director: Burr Steers
Main Cast: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Suki Waterhouse, Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Matt Smith, Lena Headey.
“Careful, Jenny.“ She stopped, frightened by what she sensed in him. Looking into his eyes, she saw something so alien, so terrifying, that she couldn’t move. It was then, at last, that she believed what was happening. Full realization of what this boy had done, of everything that had happened tonight, crashed in on her. The young man standing before her, looking almost human, could do magic. "Oh, God,” she whispered. All her violence had drained away, replaced by a fear older and deeper than anything she’d ever experienced. An old, old recognition. Something inside her knew him from a time when girls took skin bags to the river to get water, a time when panthers walked in the darkness outside mud huts. From a time before electric lights, before candles, when darkness was fended off with stone lamps. When darkness was the greatest danger of all.