Will Sharpe’s famous camera trickery throughout the four episodes gave each scene a mystifying aura. Occasionally, the show would start in black and white and the colours would slowly bleed onto the screen.
Will Sharpe’s colourful storytelling returns with a twist of dark humour in this grim true-crime story
By Udeshi Seneviratne, Illustrator
I have long been a fan of Will Sharpe’s directing, so after seeing that Olivia Colman stars in this true-crime murder mini-series, I was simply overjoyed and excited to see what their collaboration would produce. Previously, the two collaborated on Flowers, a BBC television series about a quirky, dysfunctional family, working through mental health issues. The all-capturing storytelling, remarkable cinematography, and gripping strings soundtrack that Flowers depended on, make an even more prominent appearance this time around.
The exaggerated true-crime story surrounding Susan (Olivia Colman) and Chris Edwards (David Thewlis) portrays the execution of Susan’s parents as being provoked by years of abuse. However, their story does not sit well as we find out that immediately after the murders, the couple drained the parents’ bank accounts, absconding with roughly 285,000 pounds. They led lavish lives, left for France, all the while continuing a charade and keeping the murders of the parents literally under wraps for 15 years. This all turned sour when Chris consulted his stepmother about their financial ruin, ultimately revealing the murders.
On the investigative side of the story, we are introduced to three detectives, DC Lancing (Kate O’Flynn), DC Wilkie (Samuel Anderson), and DCI Collier (Daniel Rigby) who all have a rather comical dynamic, yet a large role in uncovering the murky doings of the seemingly helpless and innocent couple. While the storyline for these officers offers a new perspective to the characters and crime in question, the focus on these characters came off as lacking compared to those of Colman and Thewlis’.
Sharpe’s famous camera trickery throughout the four episodes gave each scene a mystifying aura. Occasionally, the show would start in black and white and the colours would slowly bleed onto the screen. There are parts where the show breaks the fourth wall, has strange cowboy playouts from Susan’s imagination, sudden spotlights of characters we have never seen before, and random focuses on certain objects. All these aspects share underlying details to the story that encourages the audience to investigate to understand Susan’s tumultuous emotions.
The show’s hauntingly fitting visuals will draw you in and keep you on your toes as it uncovers the peculiar case of the murders. The story also shares little glimpses of an eerie beauty that is portrayed in the love Susan and Chris have for each other, leading to the story’s dark circumstances.