Based on: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by, Jane Austin and Seth Grahame- Smith
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance; Lena Headey.
Not just another Zombie movie.
With lacy knickers and knives sheathed in garters, I really thought I was in for some trash with this one. But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Without being overdone, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is funny for the right reasons: a playful parody that manages to portray a successful story-line about the undead (AKA zombies) running rampart in 19th century England.
Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), the undead have infected the population and the ladies have been taught martial arts and weaponry in order to save themselves from joining their ranks. This is where period costuming meets martial arts.
With the focus on the Bennets’ daughters, the mother (Sandy Phillips) is determined to marry her daughters off to the richest men available.
There’s dancing at balls and wine being drunk; eye patches (for function not fashion), and all the skullduggery of finding love. But the story went further than the visual sensors and added a few more layers to the characters, and more meat (ha, ha) to the story. This was more about the Jane Austin 19th century sensibilities than the gore of yet another mindless Zombie movie. And this made for a better story-line.
There is much wit and humour sprinkled with occasional change in camera view: a hand reaching for a strangle hold or the rotting flesh of a zombie’s face.
The acting and dialogue was yes, once again, surprisingly good. The budding romance between Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) and Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) was believable and rather sweet.
What I liked most about the film was the humour from Mr Collins (Matt Smith), making the most of the parody of English dignified politeness amongst the chaos of the walking dead, liable to walk in any moment, ‘But pass the scones’, in the mean-time, ‘With a nice cup of tea’.
Being such a silly convention, I don’t think anyone is expecting a life-altering experience here, but there’s some quality work and thought put into the story and the telling of the story: the soundtrack (Fernando Valázquez) adding to the cheek; the camera work (Remi Adefarasin) adding a new perspective. And I was happy to be in the audience to enjoy the success.
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