Downton Abbey is a film for the fans, a revisitation to the characters they love. For us outsiders…well, the film certainly looks pretty.
The King and Queen are making a royal visit to Downton, and this is stirring up a whole bunch of commotion at the castle. There are honestly so many different characters and plot lines, for me to tie down the film to one general summary would be nearly impossible. Downton Abbey is structured closer to a TV episode, rather than your typical film; it’s as if you’re watching a series finale yet missed the episodes leading up to it. For the uninitiated, it can be difficult to keep up with all the characters and their storylines, especially considering how similar they look. However, the variety of storylines does make the characters unique and interesting. The castle may connect them, but the separation of the several problems which arise, and the solutions devised, makes for a constantly moving film, bouncing from one character to the next and back again.
Otherwise, the script crackles with wit, the production design is top of its class, and Damme Maggie Smith is a scene-stealer. I also liked the score. There are a lot of rooms. I wish I had more to offer, but I think the most important thing I can offer is the perspective of someone who is unfamiliar with the show, to those who are also unfamiliar, considering seeing for themselves what the Downton Abbey hype is all about. I appreciate a good period piece, and Downton Abbey is a good period piece. But did the film hook me enough to watch the show? I’m not too sure. 7.5/10