How much do I love Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the movie? Very much!
When I was little, I loved it when my parents brought me and my sister to the cinema to watch a film. My parents (still) have a grocery store so movie night meant closing the store a bit earlier just to catch a show. It also meant family time, something rare since my dad started working as a lecturer.
On one of the film outings, we watched a Wong Fei-Hung movie. Wong Fei-Hung movies (Once Upon A Time in China series) were all the rage back then, probably even more than Ip-Man movies now. For those who don’t know, Wong Fei-Hung (usually played by Jet Li) is a folk hero Kungfu master whose on-off love interest in the movie is called Thirteenth Aunt (who’s also a cousin. GASP!).
After one of the Wong Fei-Hung movies, as we walked to the parking lot where our van (we had a white van then) was parked, I imagined myself to be a Kungfu master too, with lots of air punching and air kicking.
I never really picked up martial arts. I did learn karate and Taekwondo around the age of 7 but I was always stuck at the white belt because I wasn’t diligent enough to break through the levels.
I still have a soft spot for martial arts, at least the cinematic version that doesn’t require me to sweat.
So when I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ), I was delighted to find that the Bennet sister are accomplished martial artists who kill zombies with weapons. Zombies + Kungfu + Kick ass women characters? That’s my type of book.
Why I love Pride and Prejudice and Zombies the movie
I watched the movie recently and loved it even more than the book. The novel PPZ is heavily based on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”, with a few lines related to zombies slotted in. It was a fun read but I was also disappointed that I didn’t come up with the idea first.
The movie is much better because they added an actual plot to it, in contrast to the book’s lazy *add zombie here*-type of writing. But here are more reasons why I love the movie:
It’s an action movie packaged as a period-romance. If you think it’s a chick flick. Yes it is, but with lots of brains and blood going on. The director might be trying to capture all audiences.
2. Strong women characters
Elizabeth Bennet is already a strong character in the original book, refusing the marriage of two men despite her family’s poor circumstance. In PPZ, Lizzie knows kungfu (from the Shaolin masters) so she literally kicks ass.
Lizzie: “I shall never relinquish my sword for a ring.”
Charlotte: “For the right man, you would.”
Lizzie: “The right man wouldn’t ask me to.”
Even Jane Bennet (the sweetest character in the original book) knows Kungfu. And Catherine de Bough (played by Lena Heady aka Cersei Lanniser) is The Toughest Zombie Killer in the whole of Great Britain.
Being a P&P movie, there are a few balls in the movie. The dance they do is the type of fun non-awkward dance that’s not being practiced enough these days.
4. Period costumes
There’s a bit too much bosom going on in the movie. And the part where the girls dress up for the ball, that’s definitely a fan service scene. But the dresses do look pretty.
5. Clever zombies
The zombies in PPZ know how to lay traps. Most of them are not fully zombified unless they start eating human brains so it takes skills–or flies in Mr. Darcy’s case–to spot them. This is also a major plot point in the movie. Hint hint.
6. Quoting Pride and Prejudice verbatim
The occasions when the characters say out lines from the book are hilarious.
Because the book has a narrator, it was laugh-out-loud funny to hear these lines from Mr. Darcy’s mouth while watching Elizabeth Bennet fight zombies: “I find her face rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes, and her uncommon skill with a blade. Her figure is light and pleasing, and her arms surprisingly muscular, though not so much as to diminish her femininity.”
7. Matt Smith
I’ve not watched Dr. Who but Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Bennet’s cousin Mr. Collins was so fantastically gross that you can’t help like the actor.
Read-Aloud Sg Book Club meetup: PPZ
On February 28, the book club I co-host, Read-Aloud SG Book Club, will be reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
If you like P&P, please come as we’ll discuss other P&P adaptations too.