I don’t think that there is anyone around here who remembers our very first poster. We are actually speaking of January 2012 (inner deafening scream). But it is easy to guess… it is the one down here, The P&P marathon which still remains one of our bestsellers.
But look at the picture… do you see the intruder? Ciao Bob! <3 We are very fond of Bob the zombie, even if we later removed it from the poster, he will always stay in our hearts. He embodies the spirit which we started this project with. That little bit of silliness that we hope will stay with us forever.
In short, at that time I had just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and I have no difficulty in admitting that I genuinely liked it. Okay, not as to say “oh it is wonderful I would reread it immediately!”, but I had enjoyed several aspects of it. I wasn’t shocked by the concept, and I do not like to think that Jane Austen is untouchable, and in general I admire anyone who has a really good idea. And PPZ (the book) is a good idea, it is a smart idea. Yes it is true, they profited from the hard work of good Aunt Jane and the book was just a commercial operation perfectly studied but I applaud it just the same. Seth Grahame-Smith (or his editor) understood that you can’t write better than Jane Austen and so acted accordingly. He carefully cut and pasted the text of the original novel and added to it a zombie invasion. He simply moved the story into a different context. And that made it funny: the contrast between a well known story and the perfect writing of Jane Austen and the zombies and the absurd situations. The result was pretty funny in my humble opinion.
The idea works and we noticed it observing the people attending with us at the evening screening on Saturday. A strange mixture of genres and ages: couples clearly happy to see a movie that could combine the tastes of both. Women of all ages emerged from their dens summoned by the name of Jane Austen. AND MEN. Maybe they were in the wrong room but maybe they were just there for the zombies. Surely we all shared a sense of curiosity and I think in the end we all shared some great disappointment. PPZ as P & P movie simply sucks and as a zombie apocalypse sucks even more. Its creators failed to understand that the book did work not because it was a comedy, but because of its contrasts and its respect to the original material. This movies is so sloppy that it makes you want to punch someone.
I do not believe they did not think to read the book written by Jane Austen, as it seems obvious from the movie, but I think instead that they knowingly decided that PPZ should be a parody of the Joe Wright movie, rather than the original story. It was not laziness, but a stupid belief that people are more familiar with the movie rather than the novel itself. This is the only way to make sense of the clumsy jokes (which already were the weak point of the 2005 movie) that were copied from the movie. The locations are the same (and of this we cannot complain) and also the photography very much recalls Wright’s work (which we actually like very much), but lacks everything else and treats the story with no respect. The cast is quite disappointing, apart from Charles Dance as Daddy Bennet and Matt Smith as silly Mr. Collins. Darcy is useless and has very little to do (but they all have very little to do) and Lily James sadly simplifies the character of Elizabeth with her little faces, making her pretty annoying.
If the first part remains vaguely faithful to the books (both books XD) and is the best, the second deviates significantly setting up a zombie apocalypse that involves an Antichrist and the four horsemen. And as a horror movie is a very bad one. In shorts almost nothing works … the Bennet sisters are not very credible as expert killers, Lady Catherine is not surrounded by ninjas, costumes are a strange mix of Regency and H&M and Pemberely does not appear even once. Things are done in half and for a teen audience and even Mr Darcy’s plunge in the pond is there but not really there.
In short it is not good for fans of the original book, not even for fans of the zombie book and zombies lovers are going to be disappointed too. I had a good laugh here and there but just because I was with friends and I kind of enjoy real trashy movies. Luisa does not agrees and wants me to say that is was “awful, awful, awful, awful, awfulllll!”
Did you seen it? What did you think? 🙂 🙂