It does not happen everyday when a royal family comes knocking at your door, maybe that is why the night was so charming.
The director Michael Engler is a proud member of the family. Jullian Fellows, the writer’s work can be a daunting task to hone into a linear narration. That, right there, is a success. That is not to say, the film is one. In fact, what you feel before entering the screen is exactly how you feel when you leave. There is no change, no convincing. This two hour special doesn’t change a dime. And the structure is both upsetting and the liberator. Time after time, snippets after snippets, the film bounces back from one character to another, juggling us, to whom (the characters), by the way, the writer feels this unexplainable urgency to weigh them down by a certain spectrum of emotion, which hisses back at him for its radical notion of being edited out as a cry for help.
So much whining. So much screaming. So much gossip. What helps then is the urgency. There is also this rush. The pace. That has to be maintained. The unstoppable current that helps majorly especially when we, as an audience, are uncomfortable in that situation. The bratty nature breeds this behaviour. And this involuntary reaction does make sense. It is something we can all relate to.
The theme of Downton Abbey is basically taking over your property, as in what makes you who you are, the comfortness, the homeground to your sport. And the writer is the real trickster. To satisfy the fans of the show, he is taking away everyone’s characteristic, teasing us, begging us to give it, give them back their identity and when he does, you are satisfied with the product. And it is a product. A commercial one. There is no doubt about that. The only “get out” clause, the excuse, the makers have is that it is done with some panache, that same arrogance that helped them build that castle.