New Wednesday Movies: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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So. Last night I went to see a film I thought I’d find boring, wouldn’t be great and that would just be really cheesy. I was wrong.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is directed by Burr Steers, produced by Natalie Portman (yes, that Natalie Portman) and stars Lily James as Elizabeth Bennet, Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy, Bella Heathcote as Jane Bennet, Jack Huston as George Wickham, Douglas Booth as Mr Bingley and Matt Smith as Parson Collins (more on that performance later).

Where to start with this film. This is the first film in a while that actually left me feeling giddy and drained. I loved every moment of it. The plot of this film focuses on the Bennet sisters dealing with trying to get married (the Pride and Prejudice part) whilst also dealing with the growing Zombie apocalypse (the Zombie part). That’s pretty much the simplest way I can sum up this film.

First of all, let me tell you why I thought this film wouldn’t be great. The main reason is due to the fact that this film hasn’t done great at the Box Office, even though its budget was $28 million, it’s only made $14 million worldwide. Now normally that isn’t a good sign for a film. Saying that, I don’t understand why it has done so badly. It is action packed, romantic, emotional and humorous right when it needs to be.

Let me talk about the acting. Despite some slight wooden scenes, the majority of the acting in this film was fantastic. Sam Riley portrayed the stubbornness of Mr Darcy fantastically well and Lily James as Elizabeth Bennet should be a role model to any young female who wants to get into acting as she demonstrates extremely well how bad-ass a female lead can be in an action film. The other brilliant performance in this movie was none other than the 11th Doctor himself, Matt Smith. Matt stole every single scene he was in as Parson Collins. His comedic timing was brilliant and despite his first introduction being a slightly wooden, motionless performance, he quickly became the character and he provided most of the comic relief throughout the whole film. Charming to the nth degree.

If I was to have one problem with the acting. It would have to be from Charles Dance, as Mr Bennet, and Lena Headey, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. From these two, I thought I’d get a lot more but I didn’t. Headey I just thought was phoning in this whole performance and she wasn’t given much screen time. With Charles Dance he wasn’t given enough screen time, mainly pushed into the background. I admit that one is probably the writers/directors fault but still. Its my only nit pick.

The romance aspect of this film is well done. Not once do you think the romance is forced in just for the sake of the story which I believe is a credit to the actors and to their chemistry with each other. The film also clearly shows what it was like to be a female in the 19th century where it was expected of you to get married whether you loved the man or not, just for the inheritance.

Another amazing aspect of this movie was the costume design. From George Wickham’s striking red coat uniform to the amazingly detailed zombie faces. Each and every costume in this film was given immense detail and wasn’t left out. The same can go with the set’s themselves, there is a detail for everything if you look closely. Which is a credit to what someone can do with a very small budget and without the use of CGI.

Now onto the Zombies. The action scenes with the Zombies are very well done, all of the gore is left in. You see arms get chopped off, heads get blown off, people get bitten. All sorts. Your typical Zombie. I’ve seen some reviewers say this is just a romance film with a sprinkling of Zombies in it (I must admit thats a reason why I wasn’t sure about this film), but as I watched, I felt there was enough Zombies in there compared to the amount or romance. The pace never slowed down too much and stopped dead because of the romance. You could clearly feel and see that the romance was part of everyday life for these characters but that they also had a rising Zombie apocalypse to deal with.

Okay. To sum up (this was a long one today) I urge you to go and see this movie before it leaves cinemas. Because if no one see’s it, it’ll just be telling big studios to throw money at movies to make it bigger and that Franchises and Sequels are the only things that make money. This movie was fantastic in its own right and it is a brilliant Action, Romance, Zombie Period film. Please, go and see it. If not for me then go and see it to support low budget movies and also Matt Smiths fantastic performance.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: 4.5/5

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