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Gosford Park Review

After absolutely adoring the Downton Abbey series I was looking for more period dramas to watch, so to find a period drama that is also a murder mystery was right up my street, but unfortunately I do feel it fell short in some areas.

Gosford Park follows a group of high class men and women who go to the victim’s manor for the weekend to partake in some shooting. Over the course of the film we get to know the characters in some detail from one being an American using his actor as a worker to get him used to his next role, which will basically be this film reimagined as American, as well as couple’s going through hard times with money and families being torn apart because of life changes. As I watched this film it was quite hard to keep up with all the characters that were on screen especially near the end when we get to the murder. A lot of them I didn’t even remember or had any distinguishable qualities about them, and so while this was an interesting murder mystery, I do feel that with too many characters it was hard to keep up with them all, and this pulled away from the excitement and mystery of the murder.

In the latter part of the film we do see one of the characters get murdered, however it turns out that two people tried to murder him, but one did not know that the other had already killed him when he attempted to murder him. This was the most interesting part of the story because it spins the usual murder mystery narrative on its head, of there usually being only one murderer, and adds a bit more depth to certain characters that may not have had that depth otherwise.

My favourite character came from Stephen Fry who was the detective on the case. His character was very campy, very fun, and reminded me of Daniel Craig’s character in Knives Out in that he had a lot of the same similarities of him being a good cop but not the best, and not dealing with the situation to the level that he should have. It really bought an element of fun into what was otherwise quite a dry, cold film, and while maybe some of the earlier jokes went over my head, I think because of the runtime I couldn’t appreciate them enough because it just seemed to never end.

While I went into this film thinking this will be great, I’m really excited for a murder mystery period drama, it didn’t work out the way that I hoped. It didn’t excite me in the way that I expected and I mainly put this down to the run-time being so long and the characters being quite forgettable. The murder wasn’t overly exciting and even finding out who the murderer was felt very anticlimactic. Maybe if you’re into the sort of old-timey British classic films with a fantastic cast you may enjoy it, but for me it just didn’t excite me enough to warrant a second watch, and even if a second watch would give me more foreshadowing into what will happen and things that I might have missed on the first time round, I just do not have the interest to go through it all again.

What do you think of Gosford Park?

Until next time.

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