I have been feeling somewhat anxious and excited ever since the announcement that there was going to be a Downton Abbey movie. It's difficult not to feel a little bit sceptical when beloved television programs are revived. Downton Abbey, however, managed to hold onto the charm we all know and love. Bewarned, there will be a few spoilers if you have not seen the film.
The story surrounds the King and Queen coming to stay at Downton and how this affects the lives of the characters we have grown to love. Upstairs, the characters are questioning their roles in the changing world and dealing with an estranged family member, not making Robert her heir and why. There are a few wonderful moments of wit from the Dowager Countess and Mrs Crawley as the former tries to sort things out for her son. Mary is truly starting to take over the running of Downton. Edith is struggling to be enthusiastic about her new life, and Tom is saving the day and gaining a new love interest.
Downstairs, the staff are dealing with the difficulties of the Royal Household and scheming to take back control. Carson comes out of retirement for the visit and Molesley is back out of sheer excitement. Daisy and Andy are now engaged. Most importantly, Barrow finally gets to have a proper love interest.
The film has the same tone and overall feeling as the show. It is not difficult to imagine this being broken down into two episodes of the show so that fans won't be disappointed by the overall feel. The only thing that didn't thrill me about the film is a few of the subplots that I think weren't critical to the story. I don't know anyone who is a super fan of Daisy or Andy, so I don't believe that much time needed to be focused on them. It could have worked if it was going to explore them moving to Mr Mason's farm. Instead, we got to witness Daisy questioning if she wanted to marry him and Andy getting super jealous. There was also the issue of a thief at Downton; it took up way too much time and tried to raise themes that the show and film had already addressed. I would have preferred more time spent on Mary and Violet or Anna and Bates or Robert and Cora.
I loved the majority of this film. The costumes, sets and cinematography were perfect and reminded me of how much I love the show. Loose ends from the series were wrapped up, and the new love interests were incredibly endearing. The new Royal characters were exciting and well done, and it was fantastic to see Tom on such excellent terms with the family and to be a bit of an unsung hero. More than anything, Barrow got to have a little bit of happiness which is all I wanted.