Every few years it seems that film audiences are introduced to another version of Pride and Prejudice. The latest foray into the tale is Burr Steers (17 again, Charlie St. Cloud) take, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
When the trailer opens, we are given a magnificent shot expected of the familiar world of Pride and Prejudice, with a man riding up to a stately manor as a gentle tune plays.
We are shown a party, as the soothing voice of Elizabeth Bennet states that "a young woman must be many things" as we are given our first glimpse of the main characters, Darcy and Elizabeth, engaged in a dance.
Many of the shots are familiar to fans of Austen, whether it be the Bennet sisters walk through the streets or getting ready for a ball, easing the viewer back into a time of refinement and romance that we so desperately wish to have in our lives. As Elizabeth continues to speak of women's list of requirements, the images continue, showing many scenes that feel like coming back to an old friend, with Mr. Bingley gazing over at Jane
Or Bingley's sisters and Mr. Darcy gazing on Elizabeth as she visits with them when her sister is sick. The list of women's virtues that Elizabeth is speaking of, of course, is from the discussion she has with them.
They appear to have even taken a page from Colin Firth's Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation, as we see quite a nice shot of what appears to be Darcy diving into the lake. While it isn't something that is traditionally from the novel, I am sure that none of the ladies in the audience will quite mind it.
The movie has an all around glow about it, with amazing shots that seem to move with the actors and bring you right into the world of Austen, making you feel as though you want to just have the first man available come up and ask you for a dance.
All appears well, as Elizabeth finishes telling us what is expected of women as we turn to see our first zombie from this version.
I have to say that I like the look. It isn't overly grotesque, but it is very clear as to what it is supposed to be. It is a stark contrast to the first part of the video, and the music changes with it, from the gentle tune to a harsher, more action packed one. We are still given beautiful shots throughout the rest of the trailer, which do look as though they belong in an Austen world, but they are more action filled, more like Austen meets Pirates of the Caribbean action scenes look.
The trailer ends with Elizabeth yelling out, as her sisters gather around forming flank waiting for the next zombie to come toward them as the title appears onscreen.
While I had had my doubts about this movie, being a Jane Austen fan and having read the book I was really nervous. However, whereas the book version of this film was more of a spoof, the movie seems to be taking itself very seriously, drawing in viewers with familiar style just adding a bit of bite.
This is the kind of film that if you are going to go silly, you have to go completely silly or it will come off forced. However, if done correctly, it can be a film taken seriously.
With familiar settings, style, and a certain elegance in their movements, even as they fight, this could become an amazing adaptation. Instead of mocking the original work, it enhances it, making the sisters less of a satire of the time and more independent and strong, much like Elizabeth, and much more relatable. Frankly, if any movie could make Lydia less of a nuisance and more of a help this movie could and that alone would make it worth it.
Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself