'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' - Movie Review
'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'
Director: Burr Steers
Cast: Lily Collins, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth,Suki Waterhouse, Charles Dance, Lena Headey, Matt Smith,Millie Brady, Ellie Bamber
Seth-Grahame-Smith's history-altering zombies-spin on Jane Austen's enduring classic about the social climbing set in 19th century England may seem like sacrilege to the purist litterateur but as a ruffled-up action-oriented cinema, it’s not such a bad proposition. And with Seth Grahame-Smith already preparing the ground with his earlier novels 'Android Karenina' and novel-turned-movie 'Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter,' the shock value may have deadened while schlock value has gotten a fill-up. In fact the film almost plays out like a cheeky parody to the classic tome and therein lies it's benefits.
Watch the trailer of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' below
She is older than her prettier sister and not caring of the feminine graces, yet Spunky Chinese-trained martial artist, Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) catches the eye of wealthy zombie killer Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley). But they are not yet ready to accept that they've fallen in love so have to go through all the ritual recriminations brought on by callous criticism, class differences, ego clashes and pressurizing interference from a mother, who has six daughters to settle and no moolah to sweeten that sour cherry, while battling an undead uprising in 19th-century England- before they can come together and express their undying amour for one another. Director Burr Steers directed and adapted the screenplay from Seth Grahame-Smith's novel, which put a horror-comedic spin on Jane Austen's enduring classic 'Pride and Prejudice' written way back in 1813.
Quite a whimsical mash-up of pop-culture elements with Victorian era cussedness, this. The film has three basic eligible types doing the honors with sour-faced skeptic Mr Darcy paired up with the kick-ass Liz, handsome Doughlas Booth as Mr Bingley, a much-coveted prize catch by most of the hyper-ventilating Victorian Mamas - who captures the heart of the prettiest sister Jane (Bella Heathcote) and simpering Matt Smith as an effeminate cousin, Parson Collins, who comes good as the make-do choice for the bookish one. A zombie apologist villain in Jack Huston as George Wickham- a sort of cad who seeks Elizabeth's affections under false pretences- helps enforce the confrontation between good and possible evil.
The moneyed set are shown to favor the Japanese art of self-defense, while the Bennets ensure their daughters security by favoring the Chinese form. And that's another reason for the clash of ideals here. There's comic relief as well as romance and enduring drama to cough-up the entertainment quotient. The best thing about this film is that it's not pretentious even though it's themed around the pretentious set. Too many stretched-thin characterizations are probably a necessity for such genre mash-ups. The tone keeps shifting at every turn, the momentum is spiffy while the performances are all in the likeable mould. This re-imagined fantasy may not be considered original in terms of ideas but it plays out in a light-enough vein to make the cobbled together concoction fairly invigorating.