By Cynthia Ayala
Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge—an army of undead zombies.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies can be described with a few words: brilliant, hilarious, empowering. This film is a retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice based on the novel of the same title by Seth Grahame-Smith, this movie includes action, romance and zombies to retell the classic narrative.
The idea of this film could have gone either way, and the same could be same for the novel, I do not know, I have yet to read (I promise you, I will be reading it soon). It could either be excellent or terrible. In the case of this film, it was excellent. The story first off was entertaining, and this is coming from someone who, and I am sorry Jane Austin fans, doesn’t like Jane Austin novels. I am sorry, I do not, romance is not my thing, which is funny since romance is embedded in everything in some way or another, and I’ve read classics, but Jane Austin, no thank you.
That being said the reason I loved this film was because the romantic element was not lost in the action and zombie gore of the movie. Romance is the underlining element of the film, as it should be. Just because I do not like Jane Austin novels I do have respect for her writing and her writing and stories should be respected even if it is not liked. So it is important [to me] as a viewer that the film captures that element between Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James) and Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley). Those twos were an amazing pair, and they were able to capture the romantic tension between the characters in remarkable ways. Moreover, for James, her ability to go from Cinderella to strong, empowered Elizabeth Bennet was amazing. She is sharp, witty and shows that she does not need a man, nor does she want one. This girl wants to be independent and wants to be appreciated like that, as a strong, empowered woman. However, she is not the only one in the film who does that. This movie is filled with strong, empowered women who fight zombies in dresses and pants, women who make a stand. Lena Headey, although she does not get much screen time, she is still able to be that powerful character because the air the actress carries around with her is one of power. So even though she does not get much screen time, she is still able to play the part amazingly.
Another thing about this film is the fact that it knows it should not be taken seriously. It is a zombie retelling of a romance classic, nothing about that sounds serious. However, the constant tension and suspense that the film creates draws the viewer in, it pushed them to the edge of the seat and engaged the audience enough to make them laugh and make them root for the heroes. The film follows a natural fast paced progression that has to have tension not just surrounding the action and the zombies but also the romance to make this a movie worth taking seriously.
Everything about the film is amazing, from the zombies to the story and the acting. You do not have to like Jane Austin or Zombies to appreciate this film, take it from me, while I love zombies, the unique take on them was something not necessarily fresh but different. Moreover, as I said earlier, not a fan of Austin’s novels, but this film was entertaining, it was hilarious, and it was exciting. (★★★★| A)
Directed by Burr Steers
Screenplay by Burr Steers
Based on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance & Lena Headey
Genre | Length | Rating: Horror, Thriller, Action, Romance | 1hr 48min | PG-13
Distributed by Lionsgate & Screen Gems