Monday, February 29, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Caleb Wright

I don't know if you had the pleasure/misfortunate of seeing the play produced by SAC Day Theatre last year, but we had a (reasonably) successful production of Pride and Prejudice. I was incredibly happy to learn, then, of the recent movie Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This amazing spin on Jane Austen's classic book, written by Robert Ayscough, takes the characters of Victorian England and adds... you guessed it, zombies. This movie is honestly way better than the original novel and movies, but you still shouldn't see it because it's still Pride and Prejudice.

Let's make one thing absolutely clear -- Pride and Prejudice is horrible. Boring. Dull. Mind-numbingly brain-killing. Jane Austen's three hundred page novel is mostly narration, without any action or dialogue. Nothing happens. Some people get married, then they don't, then they do. I attempted to read it for my role, and I just couldn't. It is the one book that I have chosen not to finish, because it was so horrible.

That being said, I enjoyed PPZ. I was able to quote some of my lines at the screen, as my character of Reverend Collins was played by the adorable Matt Smith (who did a much better job with the role than I did). I loved the gore-shots of Elizabeth Bennet, played by Lily James, stabbing her undead neighbors through the skull, only to turn around and say a line from the book about curtains or marriage or whatever. I adored the beefing-up of the love story -- instead of Lizzie and Fitzwilliam Darcy (Sam Riley) hating each other then falling in love for no reason, they kill zombies together and begin to love each other in the process.

But, it's still Pride and Prejudice. It's still about Victorian England, with lines about marriage. And even as an action-thriller, it's not very good -- IMDb rated it 6.4 out of 10, for good reason. The dialogue can be forced, the action weird, and the relationships quick. I enjoyed it due to Stockholm Syndrome -- after being forced to endure Austen's novel and a BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, this made me very happy. But you shouldn't see it unless you suffer from a similar syndrome.

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