Producer: Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge
Director: Michael Engler
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, Penelope Wilton
The movie takes us into the world of royal people many decades back. In the subtext it highlights the fact that royal life is not so easy. What glitters is not always gold. Royal life comprises of flamboyant attires, wonderful food and expensive accessories but deep down it is as ordinary as is life of any layman. Downton Abbey is a visual treat because we have been spared the mess of gory violence, ruthless action and creaky horror which is mostly seen in Hollywood movies currently.
The message of King George V and Queen Mary visiting the Downton Abbey at the start sets everything in motion. And Crawley family shows the urgency to welcome the King and the Queen. There are some long one take shots in the beginning with a nice background music that portray the momentum well. Very soon ego clashes and other issues in the Crawley family come out in open. Though the family leaves no stone unturned to welcome the King and the Queen but misunderstandings pop up. There is disharmony among the royal family's staff and the royal welcome of the King and the Queen seems to be in jeopardy. The family brings back its retired butler to fix the things. But the butler's arrival doesn't go well with the current one and things seems to go wrong way. To top it all, the royal family comes to know that the King and the Queen are going to send their own staff here which serves as a scorn for the Crawley family staff. But, as is said, all is well that ends well. After hitches and glitches, the King and the Queen are pleased by their visit to Downton Abbey. Despite the scattered plot, the movie ends on a good note and all the loose ends are tied. A well-executed dance sequence in the end culminates the drama in style.
In spite of being a low-budget movie, the movie has been shot well. Casting has been suited to the plot. It is not an out-and-out entertainer but a family drama that is sprinkled with secrets, momentary thrills and other things to make it pass of as a complete entertainer.