PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES (2016) Movie Review
Jane Austen was, is, and will forever be a literary revelation. In the course of her life, she wrote six brilliant romance novels, the most popular of them being Pride and Prejudice. It is the story of family of a seven under the looming pressure of poverty and homelessness. The only hope Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters have of avoiding that fate is to marry well. In fact, marriage is all Austen’s female characters seem to care about.
Does that make Austen a boring author, or is she a victim of her time?
The number 1 rule of writing is to write what you know, which is exactly what Austen did. She paints the picture of an incredibly boring life for women in the Regency Era. All her female characters seem to care about is marriage. No higher education. No jobs. No meaningful or productive hobbies. This gives them plenty of time to pursue “agreeable” (aka wealthy) potential husbands.
As an empowered woman of the modern world, I would lose my mind in a society where women have little to no rights, no regard, and no perceived value. Hence, my pleasure with the adaptation, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
This film solves the biggest problem of Austen’s otherwise uneventful story; it provides a more immediate danger: zombies. The danger of this creative and unique zombie threat takes priority over class, wealth, and marriage.
The Bennet sisters then become impressive zombie killers, most impressively Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy becomes Colonel Darcy, a man still attractively wealthy, but also with a personal vendetta against every zombie he encounters. This explains his immediate attraction to Elizabeth for her zombie killing skills.
She seeks a man who wouldn’t dare ask her give up her warrior ways, and Darcy’s obsession with killing zombies make him the perfect man for her. He celebrates her skills. He understands her passion. He adores her strength. He takes comfort in her independence. In return, she appreciates his understanding.
As she clearly says, “I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring… The right man wouldn’t ask me to.”
Above all, they are committed to each other. When their love for each other is tested in a terrifying battle against the zombie hordes, they stand by each other instead of succumbing to the instinct of self-preservation. Darcy saves Lydia, Elizabeth saves Darcy, and in their refusal to run, they then save each other.
Spouses should support each other in their goals and aspirations. A supportive marriage is a strong marriage. An understanding marriage is a strong marriage. A compatible marriage is a strong marriage. A committed marriage is a strong marriage.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is more than a adaptation. It is an improvement, because of its terrifying and brutal test of commitment as well as its celebration of compatibility, strength, and independence.