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Film Review: 'Downton Abbey' Elegant, Extravagant, Relatable Mischief

by Todd A. Smith

 

Michelle Dockery stars as Lady Mary Talbot and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot in “Downton Abbey” (Photo Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/Focus Features, LLC).


 

Sophisticated Mischievousness 

 


Working as a moving critic can present interesting challenges in today’s entertainment climate.


Hollywood currently has an obsession with reboots, remakes and adaptations.

 

And no matter how much of a movie buff one has become, no one has watched every television show, movie, play or read every book.


Therefore, movie adaptations like “Downton Abbey” sometimes cannot get the proper critiques it deserves.


But a good movie is a good movie, no matter if the critic has not seen one episode of the hit television show, “Downton Abbey.”


For fans and newcomers, the movie version of “Downton Abbey” will represent sophistication, mischief, elegance and goodness.


The folks working and running the Downton Abbey house take pride in their operation of hosting some of the most exquisite guests and travelers in England.


However, when the crew at Downton Abbey learns that the house will host the royal family, the servants and the proprietors are on cloud nine.


The Downton Abbey house only has a limited time to prepare for the queen and king, and all of the servants and hosts at the house have to have their I’s dotted and T’s crossed if they want to present the house in the proper light to the royal family.


The rooms have to remain immaculate.


The silverware has to look pristine.


The servants have to remain silent and on their best behavior in front of the crown.


And the food has to melt in the mouths of the royal family and their guests.


However, one problem occurs while the servants at the Downton Abbey prepare for the experience of a lifetime.


The royal attendants and the royal family do not need the servants.


The king and queen have their own maids, butlers, cooks and servants.


So what the royals need is for the servants at the Downton Abbey to stay completely out of their way and stay very, very quiet.


Basically, the royal attendants want the Downton Abbey servants to play the invisible and quiet games.


The Downton Abbey servants should feel honored that they even get a chance to see the British royal family in person.


But more problems exist at Downton Abbey leading up to the royal arrival besides hurt feelings and lost opportunities.


The boiler stops working and people do not have to be experts on royalty to know that they problem want hot water on their trips.


Furthermore, some of the servants and locals view themselves as Republicans, meaning that they do not support monarchies.


Will those opposed to the crown cause a ruckus when the royals arrive?


Therefore, what will happen to the reputation of the Downton Abbey house if they cannot fix the problems and potential problems before the royal court arrives at the house?


Furthermore, when co-workers start having romantic relationships chaos usually follows.


And when family secrets spill out, will it become too much controversy to handle?


“Downton Abbey” is much needed in today’s world climate.


In an era in which grace, class, elegance, intelligence and sophistication have become yesterday’s news, “Downton Abbey” will give moviegoers a brief respite from the today’s crass society.


And while “Downton Abbey” represents the elite of society, the elites are really not that different from the commoners, today as well as yesterday.


Commoners and elites can relate to opposing the current political regime in their country.


Commoners and elites can relate to the jealousy that creeps up in romantic relationships.


Those same commoners can also relate to contemplating whether or not they should spend the rest of their lives with their current mates or should they wait for something better?


Commoners and elites can relate to not being fully appreciated at work.


And commoners from all eras and countries can relate to being looked down on by those who view themselves as superior.


Furthermore, commoners and elites can all relate to family secrets that threaten to tear a family apart and the hard work it takes to keep the family together.


And many businesses can relate to having their business reputation threatened through no fault of their own.


But what separates the commoners from the elites, as depicted in “Downton Abbey,” is that more money creates more problems to paraphrase late rapper, The Notorious B.I.G.


Family disputes become amplified a million percent when discussing millions of dollars.


Business reputations might mean more depending on the size of the company.


Furthermore, having disdain for certain political leaders can lead to catastrophic consequences if one is constantly around those political leaders.


With all of the pomp and circumstance, “Downton Abbey” has something for many moviegoers.


“Downtown Abbey” has budding romances in addition to established romances.


The film has a hint of violence.


Obviously, “Downton Abbey” has politics.


Drama is present in “Downton Abbey.”


And high society is on full display in “Downtown Abbey.”


But “Downtown Abbey” accomplishes the rare accomplishment of adding enough intrigue for fans of the television series while also remaining understandable for virgins of “Downtown Abbey.”


However, the mischief that the cast of “Downton Abbey” shows gives the film its character.


Sometimes high society can appear too stuffy and pompous.


Nevertheless, “Downton Abbey” does a good job of mixing the monarchy with mischief to give the film enough flavor for those who might not like the snobbish ways of the oligarch.


Newcomers to “Downton Abbey” will only have a complaint with the jargon of early 20th century Great Britain, which might be hard to relate to in 2019.


But movie critics, movie novices and non-fans of “Downton Abbey” will not have trouble with relating to the film because a good film is a good film, regardless.

 



REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

This article was published on Friday 20 September, 2019.
Current Comments: 0
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