A review of the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s love story.
Originally published on The Odyssey on May 24, 2016.
Everyone loves a good love story, and if you’re a fan of Jane Austen, she often delivers when it comes to such a story line. The original “Pride and Prejudice'” narrates the charming love stories of two Bennet sisters who find perfect husbands in the most roundabout ways. Jane Bennet is acquainted with the wealthy and charming Charles Bingley early in the novel, while her sister, Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Bennett finds herself annoyed and revolted by the ever-present and gloomy Fitzwilliam Darcy. The movie adaptation was just as lovely as the book, too.
What could be more perfect than curling up with a blanket, hot tea, and “Pride and Prejudice?” Doing just that, of course! The movie, also based on the novel by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, was released in February of this year and has already made over 16 million dollars at the box office. Though the name of the film suggests gore and filth, there is nearly no blood shown at all.
The movie stars Lily James, the newest princess in the most recent version of “Cinderella,” who plays Elizabeth, Sam Wiley, who starred in “Maleficient” as Diaval, debuts as Mr. Darcy, and Matt Smith, who joins us from the “Doctor Who” series, portrays Parson Collins. The rest of the cast is filled with equally as talented actors and actresses, including Douglas Booth (Mr. Bingley), Lena Headey (Lady Catherine), Bella Heathcote (Jane) and Emma Greenwell (Caroline Bingley). It was also directed by Burr Steers, who directed “Charlie St. Cloud,” and “17 Again.”
Fans of the novel may feel some hesitancy or perhaps disgust when regarding this movie. However, I am an extreme “Pride and Prejudice” fan and I absolutely adored this rendition of the story. Every story has the capacity to be recreated and reborn, and while it may seem that this adaptation should be watched in irony at best, I assure you it is worth giving a chance. If you adore the original novel and film for the beauty in detail, characterization, and romantic plot, you will be pleased to know that the zombie version also pays close attention to these traits. However, if you were pleased with the original’s peacefulness, tradition, and historical resemblance, you may want to avoid this rendition.
When I first heard about this movie, I was also extremely hesitant. Some masterpieces should not be recreated, just in case they are butchered in the process. When buying tickets for this movie, I mostly intended to watch it ironically. I expected the absolute worst and found that I had misjudged the movie entirely. The acting is not incredible, and Elizabeth Bennet mumbles quite a bit, but I believe that adaptations such as these should be able to stand alone if needed, and this film certainly has the ability to. I absolutely recommend reading and watching the original “Pride and Prejudice,” but if you have an open mind and feel like opening the door to a slightly more action-induced rendition, you are sure to enjoy the zombie edition of this beloved story.
In my experience so far, I have only read good and intrigued reviews regarding this new film. At the very least, people were surprised whilst watching, and encourage other viewers to take a chance. While it is definitely a little creepy and veers off from the original story line, it is still witty, funny, and different. If you’ve seen this movie and enjoyed it, prepared to be excited. Steve Hockensmith, who wrote the prequel for the zombie adaptation, has also written a sequel, titled “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After.” The title alone secures an interesting plot, to say the least. Though there have been many rumors, director Burr Steers says there is no sequel in the making at the moment, though he would jump at the idea if requested. I hereby declare this film to be cute.