By David Lee Zamora
Special to the Parade
This week, I had to endure one of the most dull, boring, and vanilla films I’ve ever seen, and no, I’m in no way being overdramatic.
This film morphed my views on cinema and how truly awful a competent film with good acting, plot, and cinematography can be. The film is Downton Abbey, now a stain on my memory that I wish I could undo.
Downton Abbey is a historical drama about a noble family and their servants day-to-day lives as they prepare for the king and queens visit. This leads to the many adventures that take place in the film, from assassination attempts to drugging the king’s own personal chef.
Unfortunately, all these events play out more like episodes of a television series rather than a film. This is because Downton Abbey was a series, and this film is practically the finale. This is further emphasized by all the characters, with over twenty in total. It felt almost impossible to keep up with any little situation.
For example, when one of the nobles notices that her jewelry is missing, her maid then confronts the dressmaker and threatens her. Now, to the other people in the theater who watched the show and know this character, this shocked them, but i was left lost and confused. Was I supposed to be worried for this dressmaker who I was introduced to, or was I supposed to hate her? This is my main problem with the film: the characters aren’t introduced for the most part, making it feel like a cinematic game of “Guess who?”
To be fair, the film has some good acting. No one feels stiff and they all play their parts rather well. I also thought the scenery was beautiful. All this made the two hour long film somewhat watchable.
I also struggled to see who this film was for, up until I looked around the theater and realized that it was for an older, white audience, in which I clearly had no place in. Literally all but one or two of the jokes flew right over my head but made every one else laugh in delight. Now I know this isn’t the film’s fault, but I think it’s very important to mention. Downton Abbey is for a very niche audience that have seen the show and gotten used to the confusing dialect that the cast uses.
Downton Abbey changed the way I think about films in so many ways. To me, there will never be a film so awful again: it wasted so much potential, with great time period acting that really made you feel that early-1900 English era, but I felt absolutely nothing for these characters. This film is pure garbage and should have never moved from a series to film.