As a devoted fan of the Downton Abbey TV series, I was interested and cautious to see what else could possibly be added to the final series of the show. The drama, much like in the series, follows the lives of the upper-class Crawley family and their servants in the family's Edwardian country house.
The film is set in 1927 and the story follows the Official State Visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Downton during their Royal tour. The plot generally follows on from where the last series, (Six) ended, so it was helpful that I’d re-watched it a couple of months ago to jog my memory. I was happy to see that all of the original cast from the show, most of which I had grown to love (and some, loath) over the last few years, had returned for this finale.
Unfortunately, for a new viewer, some of the characters' personalities and pasts were quite difficult to make sense of - especially those with more colourful pasts, such as Cora Crawley and Tom Branson. My companion had never watched the TV show before and therefore looked quite lost in places. So unfortunately, I had to do a fair bit of whispering to fill in the gaps which probably wasn’t particularly helpful for her or me in the end. You’d do much better watching it with a fellow fan.
The plot followed in the same vein as the series with a few plot-twists, some laugh-out-loud moments and the odd bit of doom and gloom. A couple of plot-lines were pretty vacuous and felt like time-fillers but overall it was predictably pleasant and exactly what I had expected from a film version.
Downton Abbey is not an excellent movie by any description, but I contentedly watched it through to the end. It is an easy watch, that would probably serve better as a glitzier Christmas Special than a standalone film. However, if you fancy taking a couple of hours to fantasize about your life as a Post-Edwardian aristocrat, or just want to reminisce after the end of the much-loved series, then it is one to watch!