“The King and Queen are coming to Downton.”
Downton Abbey continues the story of the prestigious Crawley family, in the mid 1920s, only a few of years from where the show’s timeline wrapped. This time, the Crawley’s new guests are none other than King George V and Queen Mary. But in predictable Downton Abbey fashion, a big event, such as this, never goes on without a hitch. Downton Abbey viewers alike will head for their theaters, ready to pick up where the show left off. However, will this lavish film appeal to new audiences?
The gang has once again returned to Downton. The forefront of the film is taken by the King and Queen visiting Downton, which makes for some rather comedic moments. It’s hard to say which side writer Julian Fellowes takes in portraying the Monarchy, and the people who simply adore them. In regard to the intriguing plot of the film, as well as the comedic one, that all belongs to the downstairs group. The servants of the film really bring their A-game as well, as the energy, that makes this film watchable. But the upstairs family members suffer the fate of a stale storyline, with a plot that’s been done already. Nevertheless, all performances throughout the film are decent. If anything, it’s the same quality that you receive from the show, which may, or may not, be saying something.
Downton Abbey falls short of being the film it’s hyped up to be. You may be asking yourself, “but are you a fan of the show?” Yes, I am. So my problems with the film aren’t biased or uninformed. See, one problem with Downton Abbey is that it feels awfully forced in its storytelling. It’s as though Fellowes ripped an idea out of the air, and prayed that it would turn into something more. Also, a few of the supporting characters are a little thrown aside, because Fellowes seems to have written himself into a hole after the show’s last episode. So now, in order to make room for all the originals, upstairs and downstairs, many characters’ scenes are missing from the narrative, or forced into one that doesn’t fit.
The question so many are asking is, “will it satisfy the large audience that craves to find out what’s in store for our main characters?” Yes, it does. Will it appeal to larger audiences that have never seen the show? Not likely. Downton Abbey was never a masterpiece during its run. You know, with its predictable and often melodramatic storylines. But I will say that if you’re a die-hard like so much of the rest of the world, you’ll be delighted in being transported to Downton Abbey once again.
Directed by: Michael Engler
Written by: Julian Fellowes
Starring: Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Joanne Froggatt, and Maggie Smith