Years ago, when Downton Abbey was on Masterpiece Theater on Sundays on PBS. A group of my friends would get together at a friend’s house and watch this series after our church’s night service. It was a great time to relax and just get lost in the beauty of the dresses and the tensions of this period drama. It was a great 5 years!
When we found out that there would be an adaptation of the series into a movie, we were ecstatic. I bought myself a little get up and a black cloche hat and I was ready to go!
The beauty of Downton was all there. The dresses were just beautiful and the cinematography was exquisite, but the plot just didn’t seem to reach a crescendo. It fell flat for me. I am not sure if it is because it had been so long since I had seen the series or if it was because the series had just ended so well and there really wasn’t more to portray or improve on. There were just a constant feeling of “this is what I came to see, people having British meltdowns over polished silver?” I also don’t remember Mary being so dry. They also focused more on the love life of Thomas Barrow than Anna and Mr. Bates or even Carson and Ms. Hughes, couples whom we loved seeing get together. This bothered me because there really seemed to be a political agenda. I loved Thomas being a jerk in the series. Thomas was a sad anti-hero. He was conniving and a schemer. His character was so much deeper, but these scenes were as if the director wanted Thomas to be just a feisty, likable chap. It’s like he wanted Thomas to capture our hearts. Thomas was not likable and he didn’t capture our hearts and that’s okay. We like having a bad guy.
The movie also did have a “part 2” feel. The actors just didn’t seem to rest into their characters like they did in the series. And the gay dancing and kissing was over the top. We get it, Thomas is gay. I just think there was so much more to focus on than this.
The movie did have some bits of true wit and the bickering between Violet and Isobel was very entertaining, and Molesley – he cracked me up! If you like the series, you will like the movie, but I would recommend to maybe watch the last couple of seasons before watching the movie.
The movie is rated PG and is about an hour and 20 minutes long.