By Faith Haushona-Kavamba
JANE Austen must have been turning in her grave when Seth Grahame-Smith turned one of her best sellers, Pride and Prejudice, into a parody drearily renamed Pride, Prejudice and Zombies.
Grahame-Smith’s book, and movie, proves to be nothing more than a regurgitation of Austen’s work with no creativity and the occasional orphan zombie child in dire need of flesh.
Like the original novel, the movie follows the Bennet sisters, Elizabeth (Lily James), Jane (Bella Heathcote), Kitty (Suki Waterhouse), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), and Mary (Millie Brady), whose mother wants them to find wealthy husbands.
It just so happens that the wealthy Bingley family moves into their community, with Mr. Bingley (Douglas Booth) hoping to win the favour of one of the girls. He is accompanied by the wealthier and equally eligible Mr Darcy (Sam Riley) who abhors the locals and butts head with Elizabeth.
The group has to navigate its way through marriage, social classes and as the title suggests, zombies. In this version however, the different classes are trained to be warriors, learning to fight in different parts of the world and the Bennets are said to be trained in China as ninjas.
It is evident earlier on that Grahame-Smith was trying to modernise the classic story by introducing elements such as the zombie apocalypse as well as a hint of comedy but failed horribly.
17 Again director Burr Steers had the odds stacked up against him on this one and there was no way he would make a success of it. The actors, especially James and Riley, cannot be faulted for their performances; unfortunately that too was not enough to save the movie from being a flop.
Those who can’t get enough of zombies or women, who faultlessly fight like ninjas while flashing their stockings, might have something to get their pulse racing when watching the movie buts that’s where it ends. The story line is unnecessarily dragged on and one can’t help but want to beg to make it stop.
Perhaps if it was turned into a short spoof for Saturday Night Live (SNL) or Inside Amy, it would have been more enjoyable, but to draw it out into a movie is just cruel and unusual punishment.
It may have seemed like a good idea to want to introduce ninjas and zombies to 19th century England, but that’s where it should have stopped, merely being an idea.
Everything seems muddled as Grahame-Smith and Steers try to fit in zombies into balls, with the fight sequences sometimes feeling forced.
Maybe it needed a more seasoned director or it just needed a few more layers to make it more complex, as opposed to the straight, unimaginative route they took, where one could predict with certainty what was to come next.
One can only hope they take a different approach the next time they want to introduce sci-fi elements to a beloved classic story.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015