by SARA MARSHALL//Photo Editor
I am an avid believer of reading a novel before watching the movie or television adaptation. Though this leaves me disappointed much of the time, I still avidly watch movies after having read the books.
Burr Steers’ adaptation of the novel by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” is about five sisters growing up in 19th-century England. Each sister must cope with the pressure to marry, all the while protecting themselves from the growing hordes of zombies.
The key characters were portrayed extremely well by the actors, despite the inability of the plot to attract the attention of viewers. Lily James (“Cinderella”) plays the beloved character Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet, bouncing from dancing to deadly art training like it’s child’s play. Lizzy’s counterpart is played by Sam Riley (“Maleficent”), who portrays the ever-scowling, yet handsome and caring Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. The fearsome zombie assassin, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, was luckily played by none other than Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”).
Yet, the wonderful capabilities of all actors involved did not make up for this truly disconcerting adaptation. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” left key components from the book off the movie screens, causing much confusion and frustration to any viewer who read the book previously. I felt lost and confused while watching, since I was waiting for key moments to come about, much to my disappointment.
I especially disliked how jumpy the plot seemed. From one scene to the next scene, there were no lead-ins or transitions. Everything in this movie was rushed and choppy, adding to the overall movie viewing discomfort.
On the other hand, if one had not read the novel before watching “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” it may have been a pleasant enough movie. There were many moments which added suspense and thrill to the movie, yet it seemed to lack something.
However, I honestly think the overall cinematography of the movie was very well executed. I believe the scenes which were lucky enough to be in the final cut portrayed 19th century England rather well. The acting, costumes and scenes were reminiscent of old England and the styles of the 19th century, accurately portraying the movie’s setting.
But the whole zombie apocalypse is such an overused idea in movies today. Everything that can be imagined has been done with zombies, such as super-inhuman zombies or slow, dumb zombies. The whole concept of civilized zombies and raging zombies seemed extremely gimmicky in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”
No amount of flashy movie making could possibly dissuade me from my negative opinion on the movie’s jumpy scenes, disjointed plot and overall terrible movie quality. Although I went into the movie knowing it would be in some ways different, I was severely disappointed by how little it lived up to my expectations, which were set by its book counterpart.
I would give “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” a sad 1 out of 5 stars.