Having never seen the tv series called ’Downton abbey’ I was concerned that I would be lost or confused through the film adaptation but this was not the case. The film did use the characterS from the series and continued the unique downtown filming style but it was easy to understand.
This film is about the staff and residents of the downton abbey as they are preparing for a visit from the king and queen of England. As they prepare they realise the royal family have their own trusted staff who will be serving and cooking for them while at downton which causes friction between the staff who normally work at downton. This causes the staff to bond to together and defend downtons ’honour’ against the invading royal staff. Due to the nature of the upstairs, downstairs style of downtown, it allows the two stories to run in parallel. While the friction downstairs with the staff is happening upstairs deals with the actual events of the royals visits and ceremonies etc which makes for a very interesting to watch. While these two stories are separated in the house they weave into each other which makes for a very interesting story for the audience to follow.
Like the downton abbey the series, there are very few actions scenes (although there is a few) in this film which does make it very slow. This is only exaggerated by the stop-start style of filming they used. In this film, there is a lot of short scenes they alternate from inside the house to the outside which does cause it to become somewhat disjointed at times which for me was difficult to watch. A small issue I had with the opening of this film was that there was not a lot of dialogue at the beginning as it was tracing a letter sent from the royals on its way to the downton abbey. This was a great way to start with little dialogue and nice cinematography except for the lines that were spoken were quite clunky and awkward which did again make these scenes hard to watch. The film itself was very pleasant with a happy-ish ending which was nice. This was very on-brand for downtown as so fans of the tv show would enjoy the continuation of downton traditions. Because of all these reasons, I believe this film is more suited to an older demographic and in fact, I was probably the youngest person in the cinema while watching this film.
Despite this, the setting and backdrops used in this film were amazing. They clearly demonstrated the difference in the upstairs people and the downstairs staff by the use of colours, decadence and language use. One of the highlights of this film was the parade scene which had an amazing marching band performing an incredible horse riding displays. It was a very British film which included British drama.
Another fantastic inclusion in this film was LGBT representation. It was really nice to see a gay character in this film and the minor love story that he was involved with. Gay representation in films can only benefit the LGBT community but it is even more important in this film about higher class families as this is a character type that is often not represented in media. My favourite character in this film was Maggie smith who played violet Crawley (grandma.) Maggie continued the catty and sarcastic role in this film which was very funny to watch but also she managed to deliver the more emotional and serious parts of the film with the same amount of strength.
In general, this is a slow-moving film that I may not have enjoyed as much as someone who is older and is a fan of the downton series. It was a pleasant and nice film but I personally just think it was just that ‘nice’ and not a film that I would watch again. I would rate it 2 and a half stars out of five.