An entertaining drama, Downton Abbey is a light film that makes good use of its witty and quirky comedy to remain engaging. Though it may be over-crammed and slightly prolonged, it still delivers on nearly everything it promises in a fun manner.
Let me start off by stating that I haven’t seen the TV series of the same title that this movie serves as a continuation of, yet I was able to enjoy it to a surprising extent. One thing I know for sure now is that I most definitely wish to start the series in the near future as this has greatly peaked my interest. This period drama has quite a bit to offer with its fun characters, interesting story and beautiful production design. ‘Downton Abbey’ follows the aristocratic Crowley family and their servants as they prepare for a visit from the king and queen.
As a newcomer to the universe of Downton Abbey, I felt like the movie’s first act provided a sufficient insight into the Crowley family and their habits. Though it may be quite confusing with the abundance of characters, it eventually gets clearer. I thought that Maggie Smith was simply magnificent as the sharp-witted and hilarious family matriarch, and had some of the best lines in the film. Michelle Dockery also delivers a great performance along with the majority of the cast, minus a few who seemed either too forced in or irrelevant.
I really admired how the movie explored the type of environment that this family lives in and kind of allows us take part in their activities, despite a clearly over-crammed narrative. Here’s the main issue, this movie follows a TV episode format in many ways and that doesn’t really translate well to film. The transitions felt rough and the material far too excessive. For example, there is a subplot that is completely neglected for no justifiable reason and the theme of a certain character’s sexuality was totally out of place. Don’t get me wrong, despite these flaws the movie still manages to remain entertaining and fans of the series will most probably admire it quite a bit.