If you’ve known me long, you know that I’m a die hard Pride and Prejudice fan. I’ve read the book quite a few times, I have four versions of the movie (though Colin Firth wins hands down), two soundtracks and some of the sheet music for piano. I’ve even been gifted Lizzy and Darcy silhouette cookie cutters! In the words of Jane Hayes (Austenland), “I know Austen’s books intimately.”
I’ve known of the existence of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book probably since it was published, though I never got around to reading it. However when I finally discovered the movie’s release date, my mind was made up. I was positively going to see this movie. The opportunity presented itself after the February Watkins Birthday Party and several of us traipsed off to the late showing. Since then, I’ve had several people ask me what I thought (knowing the P&P fan I am). So I will do my best to convey my opinion without spoilers.
First things first, where the basic Pride and Prejudice story goes, the movie got it right. With some very minor tweaks to make the story fit under two hours, they did an excellent job keeping Jane Austen’s beloved tale intact. Second, I was very impressed with the lack of blood in this movie! Every other zombie movie I’ve seen has included excessive blood wherever possible as well as incredibly disgusting creatures. While I still wouldn’t recommend PPZ to the queasy of heart, the zombies weren’t the stuff of nightmares and there was really only one excessively bloody scene. Now let’s talk about a few of the characters.
Ah Lizzy. Lily James was another big reason this movie was a must for me. Just like her roles in Downton Abbey and Cinderella, she took Elizabeth Bennet from the book and put her on the screen. Well… an Elizabeth who has a physical fighting talent as well as a sharp wit. I was so pleased with her character and I felt like she really brought the Pride and Prejudice and zombies themes together.
Ah Mr. Darcy. The stuff of romance and daydreams. Except Sam Riley wasn’t… Sure he played the brooding zombie slayer well. Yeah, he did get all the important lines right. But he’s not at all good looking in my opinion. His pale face and gravelly voice belongs with some villain, NOT the model of so many romances. So that was a major disappointment. Also, at one point in the movie, they had him stripped down to his shirt and trousers and jump into a lake. Excuse me, that’s Colin’s bit and he did it a thousand times better than you. My sister-in-law and I couldn’t stop laughing in the theater.
Most people probably wouldn’t say that Mr. Collins is their favorite Pride and Prejudice character, but Matt Smith encapsulates the bumbling clergyman so completely, it almost made up for the Mr. Darcy Disappointment. It was awesome to see the former Dr. Who on the screen in the first place, but to embrace all the quirks and pretentiousness of Mr. Collins made him even more likable. He had the most quotable lines and was probably the most awkward and wonderful Mr. Collins I’ve ever seen.
In the end, I would give PPZ a 7.5 stars out of ten. It would make a great movie for the boyfriend or husband who thinks that Pride and Prejudice is boring. You’ll both be on the edge of your seat!