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Before I begin, let me just say that I loved this movie, but that being said…
This concept should NOT work at all! It should not make sense for a zombie apocalypse to be set during a Jane Austen classic, for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to argue while fighting in hand to hand combat OR for a certain main character to be revealed as one of the undead. It shouldn’t work…but at the end of the day it totally works!
As part of me and my friends Valentine’s Day celebration, we all went to watch the movie together. I’d never read the book, but I’d seen the previews and knew the general gist of the story: an author took the story of Pride and Prejudice and reworked it to include a zombie apocalypse. The fact that I went to see it at all speaks volumes because I really, really, REALLY do not like zombies (true story: I had to stop watching The Walking Dead after season 2 because of the nightmares and do not get me started on Dawn of the Dead).
I’m not saying this movie is perfect, it definitely has a few dragging moments, and if you’re not a fan of 18th century period drama, this movie may not work for you, zombies or no zombies. Sam Riley rocks as Mr. Darcy. From the moment he stepped on screen, I knew I’d seen him somewhere before, but I couldn’t quite place him. Then I checked his filmography and it clicked: he played Diaval in Maleficent a few years ago!
The action scenes with the Bennett sisters are so awesome. One great thing about how the story was re-worked, is that now, instead of being shy, retiring wallflowers, most of the women in the story are empowered warriors (literally, in the story, the Bennett sisters all trained at a Shaolin temple in China) who can totally hold their own against the zombie horde.
Now as for the music, there was one detail in particular that stood out to me. Most of the soundtrack consists of standard action fare, interspersed with the music you’d expect to hear in a Jane Austen film. But time and again the film made reference to the “End of Days” (and to be fair, a zombie apocalypse could probably count as the end of the world), and every time someone did so, the first four notes of the “Dies Irae” would be quoted. This is a technique I’ve heard before from multiple composers who cite “The wrath of God” (the literal translation of Dies Irae) in their music.
All in all I really enjoyed this movie (maybe not enough to pick up the soundtrack, but it was still interesting!) Things are still crazy (snowstorms tend to do that) but hopefully I’ll get back into the swing of things as the week goes on. Have a good rest of the day!
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