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Saturday, November 5, 2022

Inside Man: Never Seen Anything Like It -- You Should Too


So, I just binged Inside Man on Netflix.  It's easy to binge, only four episodes.  But, more important, it's a verging on insane, fast ride of a murder story -- actually more than one murder story -- and it touches on all kinds of life and death issues, and the meaning of parental love, and even has some lethal comedy throw in.  I've never seen anything like.  You should, too.  It's that good, and memorable in all kinds of ways.

The two main murder stories are a vicar (Harry, played by David Tennant) and his son and wife in England, and a convicted murderer (Jefferson, played by Stanley Tucci) on death row with just a few weeks left to go in the United States.   Their two stories basically have nothing to do with each other, but they're made to connect in the narrative.

Jefferson is the slightly more unusual and compelling character -- a condemned man who's working his last days as a brilliant criminologist -- but Harry is riveting, too, as a vicar who gets deeper and deeper into the hell of impossible choices as he tries keep his family out of harm's way.

Janice (well played by Dolly Wells, whom I don't recall seeing before -- it goes without saying that Tennant and Tucci play their roles to the hilt) is the victim in the U.K. part of the story, and somehow manages to combine being highly intelligent and dislikeable even though she did nothing to deserve her poor treatment.  The lesser characters are impressive, too.   The vicar's son Ben (played by Louis Oliver, son of Steven Moffat, who wrote Inside Man) gave a pivotal performance, and it was good to see Atkins Estimond (from Hightown) back in intellectual action as Jefferson's neighbor on death row.  Also worthy of honorable mention are Lyndsey Marshal as Mary the vicar's wife, and Lydia West as Beth, a reporter who spends time on both sides of the Atlantic in this transatlantic tale.

Hey, no real spoilers in this review -- if you've read this, trust me, you'll be shocked when you're not on the edge of your seat, in every episode.  Speaking of reviews, the few I've just read offered not enough praise for this rollercoaster of a limited series.  As often happens, I disagree with these myopic critics.  Stephen Moffat and Paul McGuigan (he directed) have offered a story I won't soon forget.  


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