DEBORA ROSS: The devastating proof that ITV isn't all dumb thrillers

La prova devastante che ITV non è solo thriller stupidi

Anne

ITV, Sunday to Wednesday

Valutazione:

The Tourist

BBC1, Saturday and Sunday

Valutazione:

The docudrama Anne, which told the Hillsborough story through one mother whose teenage son went to a football match and never came home (‘… and I need to know why’), was devastatingly harrowing.

I was harrowed significantly. Ten minutes into the first episode and I was already in bits.

But it was beautifully and sensitively handled, narratively clear, in the sense that you understood every nuance of the injustice that had been perpetrated.

Anne was written by Kevin Sampson, who was actually at Hillsborough that day in 1989, and starred Maxine Peake (sopra) in a career-best performance

Anne was written by Kevin Sampson, who was actually at Hillsborough that day in 1989, and starred Maxine Peake (sopra) in a career-best performance

Sometimes television has to take you to the limits of human suffering or it would all be those dumb thrillers set in small towns with big secrets, che è 84 per cent of ITV already.

Anne was written by Kevin Sampson, who was actually at Hillsborough that day in 1989, and starred Maxine Peake in a career-best performance, which is saying something, given how stellar she has always been.

She played Anne Williams, mother-of-three and part-time shop worker.

The opening, happy family scenes were unbearable, as we knew what was about to happen, while they did not. There was even, ridiculously, a hopeful part of you that thought: maybe it will be OK this time? Non lo era.

Kevin was 15, and neither Anne nor his stepfather Steve (a delicate performance from Stephen Walters, who also appeared in Jimmy McGovern’s Hillsborough), wanted him to attend an away match to see his beloved Liverpool play Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield’s ground, but at the last minute she relents. He is made up.

He’ll be back by 9pm, lui dice.

And then the worst sporting disaster in British history unfolds. The stampede was caught on TV. The family gather round, inorridito. But Kev will be back. He’s a good lad. He’ll be home soon, will Kev. Nine o’clock comes. And goes.

The initial focus is the panic, the hell of not knowing, the drive to the information centre set up in Sheffield for those with missing friends or relatives. They run out of petrol on the way and are helped by a kindly farmer. I don’t know why that detail sticks in the mind. Because it reminds us that there is compassion, Credo.

In Sheffield they are met by a horrifying scene. A father whose son is missing stands on a chair and shouts at the top of his voice: ‘He was only 18… he was wearing a red jersey!', as if someone might spot him somewhere.

She and Steve are led into a room where Polaroids of the dead bodies are pinned to a board, can you believe. Non lo farà, can’t accept it. ‘He’s not there,’ she keeps repeating. It’s Steve who has to point him out.

A year passes, during which Anne’s grief is so raw and unimaginable she can barely get out of bed.

Nel frattempo, the victims’ relatives endure what they will endure for years to come: smears, cover-ups, outright lies by police and politicians, who blamed the disaster on ‘tanked-up yobs’ (that’s Bernard Ingham, Margaret Thatcher’s press secretary) who forced down a gate (quando, infatti, as would be later proved, it was the police who opened it).

On discovering, at Kevin’s inquest, that he was alive after the medical evidence said he couldn’t have been, Anne dedicated the rest of her life to fighting for justice and overturning that initial verdict of ‘accidental death’.

I wish I had the space to go into all Anne Williams did and how she uncovered the truth but I don’t, so let’s focus on this as a piece of television.

Certamente, it is one of the most powerful pieces of television you will see, with a gripping performance at its core that always felt deeply honest. At the same time it managed to be a quietly sad portrait of a dissolving marriage.

Anne lived to see vindication, appena. Suffering from cancer, she died shortly after the 2012 High Court ruling that quashed the original inquest verdict. Steve is shown visiting her while she only has days to live. and again I was in bits.

In realtà, I was never not ‘in bits’. But this is television as testimony. It can’t all be dumb thrillers, sai.

As I’ve yet to forgive those writing brothers, Harry and Jack Williams, for the dumbest thriller of last year (Angela Black), I didn’t hold out much hope for their latest, The Tourist, but it’s darkly funny, refreshingly different and wonderfully addictive.

Set in the parched Australian outback, The Tourist stars Jamie Dornan (sopra) who can't remember anything following an accident and has to piece together who he is

Set in the parched Australian outback, The Tourist stars Jamie Dornan (sopra) who can’t remember anything following an accident and has to piece together who he is

It’s set in the parched Australian outback and begins with a man in a car (played by a terrific Jamie Dornan) being menaced off the road by a truck in the manner of Steven Spielberg’s Duel.

Il prossimo, he comes round in hospital and can’t remember a thing, including who he is. He now has to piece it all together.

Thus far – we’re two episodes into six – we’ve encountered someone buried alive, a sexy waitress, a big American fella with murder on his mind and also probationary police officer Helen Chambers (Danielle Macdonald), who is spectacularly lovable yet has a demeaning fiance. (Dump him, Helen! Dump him!)

It is preposterous. Potresti pensare, per esempio, that the local police would circulate a photograph of this unidentified man nationally. And there are substantial continuity errors. Windows, particolarmente, do have a habit of unsmashing themselves.

But it has wit, it has verve, it has probationary police officer Helen Chambers, and also a stuffed koala that will turn out to be important. Enjoy.

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