Early 19th-century England turns into a war zone after a mysterious plague begins turning people into the undead. Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and her sisters are highly-skilled fighters who not only have to take on zombies, but also the challenges of getting married to a wealthy man. Elizabeth is introduced to Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) at a party, whom she immediately dislikes. Guess what happens next.
I’ve been waiting a long time for this film to come out, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is essentially the classic tale with zombies added in, and it stayed true to the key scenes while adding its own flavour.
For example, just as George Wickham (Jack Huston) is seen as the antagonist of Pride and Prejudice, he’s also the overall villain in the movie. They even added in a fight scene between Wickham and Darcy which, to a Pride and Prejudice fan like me, was a treat, given that that they only clash verbally in the original story. Iconic scenes like the heated exchange between Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in the cottage (my favorite scene!), even have sparring added in to show that they evoke the warrior in each other.
The zombie-fighting skills in this film could honestly contest those seen in The Walking Dead. Unlike Rick and his gang, the Bennet girls and Darcy use rather quieter methods with their daggers and swords, only occasionally turning to the use of muskets and shotguns. As compared to Michonne’s katana skills, these girls look like they could give her a refresher course in sword-wielding.
The cast does surprisingly well, although some do look like they are basically playing a version of their TV characters, especially Lena Headey. Her portrayal of Lady Catherine. reminds me of a milder version of Cersei, which was oddly disappointing.
Thankfully, Sam Riley’s Darcy doesn’t disappoint. He not only pay homage to Colin Firth’s Darcy in the BBC adaptation, but even manages to bring out the suave charm of Darcy, despite his slightly broody expressions. Although I couldn’t quite see past the Kylo Ren behaviour he displays with his sword and the hedges.
But the one who steals the show is the one and only Matt Smith. His portrayal of Mr Collins is an adorable one filled with laughs, even if it feels like The Doctor had somehow injected himself into the story. As compared to the original Mr Collins, Smith’s version has silliness added in, and makes you forget just how obnoxious Mr Collins is actually meant to be.
The movie deviates quite a bit from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, especially the climatic ending. But despite being a stickler for ‘doing the book justice’, I found myself making an exception. To be an entertaining film for the masses, the similarity in story line wouldn’t have made for a hit in the box office, especially when it still mostly contained the original classic at heart.
Straying from the book gave them room to explore a different take on the classic tale while still making it relevant and interesting for the zombie-familiar masses of today. Who knew boring characters from yesteryear could make for such bad-ass zombie-killing warriors of today?
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is showing now. Tell us your thoughts on the movie!