Downton Abbey is a cultural phenomenon. It is as simple as that. Its impact around the world when it debuted in 2010 is incredible. My fiancee adores this series watching it regularly with her mother.
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, and Penelope Wilton Downton Abbey was a period drama that chronicled the adventures of the Lords, Ladies and employees of Downton Abbey.
After the series ended in 2015, there was much woe around the world. Then in 2018, it was announced that there would be a film that would end the story of Downton Abbey giving fans the period drama crack they craved.
This time we have the denizens of Downton preparing for their most special guests ever, the King, and Queen of England. The excitement quickly turns to annoyance however as the staff of Downton learns that they will not be needed to wait on the King and Queen as their own Royal staff will be taking over Downton. So the plot is full of misadventures as the staff tries to figure out what they’re going to do all the while the Crawleys are discussing things.
So this is what Downton Abbey is about?
Listen I’m a fan of period dramas. I’m up for Poldark, Penny Dreadful was a hell of a show, and I am about to start Peaky Blinders but Downton Abbey is something of a mixed bag for me.
The visuals and score of the film are impressive. The cinematography is beautiful. The grounds of the titular estate are stunning and as the camera sweeps across Downton you can’t help but feel enamoured with the property and the village around it. Easily my favourite aspect. I watched the film and all I could think was it be a calming place to take a holiday in.
Combine that with the sublime score and you’re in for something quite picturesque if that can be described as a feeling. Everything feels quaint throughout the entire film and it’s a great mood to be in.
Unfortunately, the characters ruin most of this goodwill with their first of first world problems. So with the staff, lead by returning Mr. Carson (Jim Carter ) the audience is treated to a kind of war between the snooty, “evil” staff of the Royals against the hardworking staff from Downton.
It’s beyond annoying as the staff of Downton are actively sabotaging the royal staff. This is completely illogical. You would think they would put their own petty grievances against the competing staff aside for the pride of Downton which they continually talk about.
Instead one of the staff destroys the plumbing at one point a day before the Royals arrive all because he got jealous that his fiancee was talking to another man. This is utter bull.
We then have the issue with the Lords and Ladies. Their whole section of the story revolves around Lord Grantham (Bonneville) potentially losing his potential inheritance and Violet Crawley (the ever snippy Dame Maggie Smith) is having none of this. There are no real stakes here because all it means is Grantham won’t be more wealthy if he loses it.
If there are any positives storywise it involves Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier) and Tom Branson (Allen Leech). Their respective character journeys are quite interesting, even if Tom Branson’s subplot feels a bit on the nose for an Irish person involved with a Royal meeting back in the early 1900s.
Time to leave Downton in the dust
Downton Abbey is a fascinating film. I’ve talked to fans and they think that it is unnecessary because the finale ended it so well. I’ve also talked to fans who are dying to see their favourite characters return for one last ball.
For me, as someone who is only passing through Downton Abbey, it is a silly place and I don’t want to return. Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews, and so much more in the film industry.