|our local movie critic|
The new Downton Abbey movie has been receiving a lot of hype these past couple weeks. The stars are on the talk shows, and I watch whenever I know about it.
I plotted when I would attend the movie. Due to the hype and not knowing how long the movie would be showing here in town, I thought the theaters might be crowded. A couple people mentioned on Facebook that a lot of people attended the showings in their locales. I eliminated the weekend, then discarded Monday. I was planning to go Tuesday, but then I saw that Tuesdays are reduced ticket-price days.
I finally settled on Wednesday for the 11 a.m. show. I was still concerned about a lot of people. What if a retirement home took all their residents on that day? I arrived at the theater just after 10:30, and ....... the parking lot was empty. I saw two older ladies wandering around on the sidewalk. I guess that was "the rush." Silly me.
I purchased my "senior" ticket and saved $1.25. I was the first one in the theater and carefully selected my seat. Ha! Eventually a few more people arrived. I believe our audience maxed out at no more than 20.
- The episodes of the tv series had 3 - 4 - 5 plots going over each episode and extending through the season. The many characters shared times when they were featured more and featured less. In this movie there were 2 hours to give all 20 or so characters screen-time. Plus, maybe 7-8 new characters were added. While the whole plot line was introduced, played, and resolved, there simply wasn't enough time to feel like each character was highlighted.
- The final scene with Lady Mary and her granny, the Dowager Duchess Violet, seemed to be setting up the beginning of a new sequel.
I would love to see a prequel. Introduce us to Robert and Cora and Violet 40 years ago. What was happening in each of their lives in England and America before they met? Why did Cora agree to an arranged marriage? I would hope that different actors would need to portray the characters, but I wouldn't mind. With the exception of a young Carson and a much younger Mrs. Hughes, I don't think any of the 1920's servants could be in the prequel. Perhaps Carson is a footman and Mrs. Hughes could be a young maid called Phyllis (since maids were addressed by their first names). The prequel could take us through the first year of their married life and show us how Robert and Cora grew to know each other, then respect and fall in love. And of course, the prequel would end with the happy birth of their first child Mary.
There. It's all figured out.