Zombies Love Jane Austen
I have been a Jane Austen purest since I was 16 years old. Ever since I opened the novel “Pride and Prejudice”and became acquainted with the self assured, gutsy heroine, Elizabeth Bennett and the dashing Mr. Darcy. I fell in love with those two characters and the novel, which has been my dearest friend for over five decades. So, when my youngest son informed me that I would genuinely enjoy the film, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” I scoffed at him and thought he was crazy. I mean how on earth could I lower myself to watching such balderdash, and yet… I was intrigued. Plus, I simply couldn’t resist the challenge. And guess what? My son was right!! I just finished watching the movie and I LOVED it!! I never thought it would be a film that I’d even like, let alone love, but I did. It was terrific! (For a Regency Zombie/Jane Austen film.) Yes, I admit it, I really, really loved it!!!!
I am still trying to figure out how the director managed to pull off such perfect Regency costumes, impeccable period etiquette, with such flawless finesse, while using adept British actors who could in one moment switch from civility, to fiercely taking down zombies with a sword! Honestly, it was stunningly brilliant! And I’m not even a horror film fan. And no, I don’t watch “The Walking Dead.” It’s gross. In fact, the only Zombie movie I ever liked was the one called “Warm Bodies” and that was because it was a clever comedic take on “Romeo and Juliet.” I avoid gory, icky horror movies at all cost. But this one was different.
There was something really wonderful about this movie. Or should I say, something delightful about how they infused Jane Austen’s magical dialogue into the middle of fighting disgusting Zombies. And they did it while using direct lines from the book!!! That’s what had me hooked. So even though the sub plot was a Zombie battle/take over, the protagonists looked, sounded, acted, like the beloved characters I have come to know so well over the years. And the lines the characters spoke, were the same exquisite phrases that I know by heart. That was the best!!! It really was well done. Imagine seeing Darcy and Elizabeth go back and forth using Jane’s dialogue, while watching out for the Undead or beheading a zombie wearing a bonnet in perfectly coordinated Edwardian pantaloons!!! It seriously worked!!! Really!!!
And unbelievably, the romance between Darcy and Lizzy was beautifully captured as well as the relationship between Jane and Bingly. Yet, they were killing zombies right and left. But somehow, it all blended together like a waltz. Picture the ball scene, gracefully dancing and reciting those perfect Austen words one moment and then slicing the head off a zombie the next. Hard to imagine? I thought so too until I saw the film.
Not only did I love it, I’m going to buy it and watch it again! The DVD will happily join my Jane Austen collection of books and films. And on one rainy day when I don’t want to venture out doors, or I am tired of all the channels on television, all the movies on Netflix, or shows on HULU, I will reach up on my shelf and slip in the movie again and watch Lizzy and Darcy go after Zombies while they have their intense repartee with one another.
I think what I loved the most about this movie, was that this strong, kick ass version of Elizabeth Bennett really represented the character I imagined when I first read the book when I was about 15 years old (In the mid 1960′s). It was Lizzy’s strength, independence, unbridled honesty, and how she spoke her mind (during a time when women were usually quiet and submissive) that I admired. She was unbelievably brave and thus became my favorite literary heroine. Somehow, the strength of this particular Ms. Bennett, through her masterful fighting skills typified what I had seen in her character from the very beginning. And possibly why I have always adored Austen. She created women who were intelligent and she made her female protagonists strong and uncompromising, even while they politely curtsied. It’s why I like to read about powerful female heroines in novels, or enjoy seeing leading ladies with courage, and why I want a strong female President. Jane Austen created women like that on paper. And here we are a few hundred years later and Lizzy Bennett is still kicking ass. (Except this time she’s killing zombies.)
If you love “Pride and Prejudice”, you will enjoy this film. If you like Zombies and Jane Austen you will really love it. And that dear readers, is “a truth universally acknowledged”……