Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Page Eight

On TV: 28th August 2011
Channel: BBC iPlayer (100 minutes duration)
Episode Type: One-off drama

In 1 Sentence: A promising spy thriller with a fantastic star cast that worked well but fizzled out toward the end
IMDb Summary: Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny's striking next-door neighbor and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Johnny is forced to walk out of his job, and then out of his identity to find out the truth. 
Set in London and Cambridge, PAGE EIGHT is a contemporary spy film for the BBC, which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century.

My Review: Page Eight was... good. 
The performances were, of course, stunning, as it was stuffed to the brim with the best of British screen stars: Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones and of course lead Bill Nighy. He was a little stiff at first but soon embodied the odd role that he had been given to play, their wasn’t as much depth to the character as I would have like so he wasn’t entirely likeable. 
Written and directed by playwright Sir David Hare, it was a decent script with realistic dialogue; perhaps a little long but it had great tension even if a lot of it didn’t pay off. By biggest ‘problem’ with it was that there was quite a bit of subtext which never came into fruition. It simmered brilliantly throughout but there was seemingly no comprehensible climax, and Nighy walking off with a Waitrose bag full of money doesn’t count. There were too many unanswered questions and plot threads left hanging for it to be satisfying. 
However it was a decent and an interesting drama. I loved the noir feel with the jazz, smoking and shadows - it certainly looked good. But I can’t help feeling that it was the great performances that kept it, and the audience’s attention, afloat.
Score: 7/10

1 comment:

  1. My two word review; 'nothing happens.'

    I thought it was a very slow opening episode of a series...but I was mistaken; it was merely the most boring ninety minutes of drama I've ever seen. I kept on watching just to see if something would happen - but it didn't.


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