Picoreview: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: startlingly enjoyable!
Look, I won’t kid you. When P&P&Z came out as a book I thought, “*God* I wish I’d thought of that.” It didn’t matter if it was going to be a one-hit wonder (and it apparently was; SENSE & SENSIBILITY & SEAMONSTERS apparently didn’t do nearly as well), it was just such a great idea that yeah. I wish I’d thought of that. I didn’t read the book, but I wished I’d thought of it.
I *didn’t* read the book, so I have no idea how well the film follows the book. What I do know is that it’s a freaking clever film.
Honestly I’ve no idea how well it holds together if you don’t know the source material, but if you do know it, wow, wow, wow. It’s a story of its own, with enough deviations from the original to make it interesting while hewing to the original enough to make it delightful. It’s fucking cleverly written/edited so that all the really critical P&P scenes make it in there, and if you have, for example, just spent the last couple of years writing your own version of P&P (MAGIC & MANNERS, out this week! I hope! :))
(Dammit, I wrote this whole post and lost half of it. I guess I need to learn to write blog posts in Scrivener or something. *tries again*)
Where was I. The casting. The casting was more than serviceable, with Lena Hedley’s Lady Catherine de Burgh being the weak link, in my opinion, although I genuinely can’t tell if it was the role as written (that was part of it) or the fact that I don’t like Hedley very much. Similarly with Lily James as Elizabeth Bennett, although I have no particular dislike of James. I just didn’t quite warm up to her in the role for some reason. OTOH, Bella Heathcote was especially delightful as shy sweet gentle zombie-slaying Jane, and Sam Riley was the least likeable Darcy I’ve ever seen, which I…rather liked. :)
The costuming was huge fun, very Regency inspired but accompanied by the practicalities of needing to fight zombies in one’s ballgown. There were many, many magnificent coats that I very much wanted to own. And the lighting! There are very few films that make any attempt to light a Regency room in the manner it would have actually been lit (ie, poorly) and P&P&Z made a noble attempt that I appreciated. So overall, a real win! And I don’t even LIKE zombie movies!