Friday, February 5, 2016
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 
CNS/USCCB (J. McAleer) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RogerEbert.com (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (J. Hassenger) review
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies  (directed and screenplay by Burr Steers based the "Quirk Classics" novel [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] by Jane Austen [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb] and Seth Grahame-Smith [wikip] [GR] [WCat] [Amzn]] [IMDb]) will certainly have its fans and it does have its moments.
For many, the story's premise alone -- which mixes the principal preoccupation of the Bennett sisters of Jane Austen's celebrated "regency era" novel Pride and Prejudice [GR] [WCat] [Amzn] [IMDb] of "finding good husbands" for themselves with a _zombie plague_ -- will be compelling enough to search-out the zombies-added book / see the movie ;-).
Indeed, a good amount of the already quite imaginative / often famously funny "verbal sparring" that takes place between the characters in Jane Austen's original novel is re-imagined here to play-out in the context of _actual sparring_ and/or _combat_ ;-). For Mr Bennett [wikip] [IMDb] (played in the film by Charles Dance), being the wise / good father that he was, had all five of his daughters trained in the martial arts so that they could defend themselves should they be attacked by zombies ;-). There's even a particularly biting exchange between the quick witted, never-to-be-taken-for-granted Elizabeth Bennett [wikip] [IMDb] (played in this film by Lily James) and the ever seemingly standoffish Mr Darcy [wikip] [IMDb] (played in this film by Sam Riley) who seemed always to be more focused on his work -- here killing zombies ;-) -- than on people. The said exchange, of course, takes place in the midst of each hacking-to-pieces a bunch of attacking zombies even as they make the point to each other that they ... well ... don't much like each other ;-). And so it goes ...
My sadness with this story / film is that it didn't go far enough. The zombies in this story / film always remained outsiders. I think that the story would have become far more interesting if a number of the major characters turned into zombies themselves.
The story comes close several times: Elizabeth's ever sweet older sister Jane Bennett [wikip] [IMDb] (played in this film by Bella Heathcote) does have an altercation with zombies in the woods as she heads over to see her beau Mr. Bingley [wikip] [IMDb] (played in the film by Douglas Booth) When she arrives, she's been wounded / feverish. BUT ... the story's creators didn't have the courage to make her explicitly into a zombie. Similarly Mr. Bingley, had an altercation which _could suggest_ that he too _could have been bitten by a zombie_ BUT ... again the story's creators didn't seem to have the courage to make it so. Finally, there's even a hint that Mrs Bennett [wikip] [IMDb] (played by Sally Phillips) could be turning into a zombie (and those who know something of Jane Austen's original novel, would certainly find it amusing if she did ;-). BUT again, the creators here didn't have the courage to do so. ;-/
Compare this with the zombie in Warm Bodies  named (all he remembers is) R ... who falls in love with a still human girl named Julie (that film even features a "balcony scene" ;-), or Maggie  the Arnold Schwarzenegger starring tear-jerky father-daughter zombie-Apocalypse drama in which Schwarzenegger's character's beloved "junior in high school aged" daughter, Maggie, was slowly, inexorably turning into a zombie, and there was nothing that anybody could do about it (one reviewer even called that film "The Fault in our Scars" ;-).
Talk about the statement about PRIDE and PREJUDICE that the current story could have made if the beautiful / kind Jane Bennett and perhaps even her really nice guy of a beau Mr. Bingley had become zombies ...
Sigh ... but at least we get to watch _a lot_ of zombies being splattered here ...
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