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Monday, October 29, 2018

Bodyguard: Brilliant and More

We've all seen stories on the screen about the bodyguard whose job is complicated by falling for the woman he's tasked with guarding.   Some, like The Bodyguard (1992) have been brilliant.  Bodyguard, a BBC six-episode production now streaming on Netflix has all of that and is also brilliant.   And it has something more than that, making it something I've never quite seen before on any screen.

Part of it is the adrenalin - not so much nonstop as it is so high in certain scenes that you're totally strapped into the rollercoaster you're on, its sudden dips and crests and twists nearly out of your seat.  David Budd is a British vet doing security for the U. K. government in London.  We meet him as he gets a woman all strapped up with a suicide bomb on a train to disarm, with his kids on the very same train.  That gets him a job as the guard for the Home Minister.  And did I mention he's suffering from PTSD and is splitting up with wife?   Then things take off from there.

I'll say no more, lest I give away the plot, but like in the excellent MI-5, Budd is thrust into a nest competing vipers.   And, much like in superb Borgen, the Home Minister is a powerful woman with possible designs on the Prime Minister, and consequent enemies around every corner.   Suffice to say that the initial suicide bomb disarming is not the last one we'll see in this story, and not every attack is foiled.

And explosions happen not only physically but in the very fabric of the narrative, with unexpected turns and just about everyone and their relative being some kind of suspect.   The tense situations are handled with excruciating detail and aplomb, the acting is memorable with Richard Madden as Budd and Keeley Hawes as the Home Minister, and the result is being on edge of your seat becomes more than a metaphor.

Highly recommended - but not if you're looking for a nice relaxing evening or two.

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