With the nights getting lighter and the weather (I hope) improving, I won’t be glued to the small screen as much as we have been. This might be my last telly addict blog post for a while.
Although, saying that, I’ve probably tempted fate now and we’ll be confined to our homes through a combination of bad weather and people going mad once lockdown has lifted. We shall see.
We caught up with this two-hour crime drama on the ITV Hub. Based on a novel by Peter James, it follows DS Roy Grace’s race against time to find a missing bridegroom in Brighton. What appealed to me was John Simm in the title role and the fact that it was a self-contained drama that didn’t span six to eight episodes. It was a twisting tale with unexpected pit stops along the way until it reached its inevitable conclusion. I found the dialogue a bit weak and some of the plot rather preposterous but, hey, it’s a new crime drama and is well worth watching. An adaptation of another book in James’ series is due later this year so it’s likely more will follow. We found it an easy, gripping way to while away two hours without feeling robbed of time. It’s no Life On Mars but an okay drama with a nicely-developing back story for the protagonist.
The Hundred Foot Journey (Sundance via Netflix)
We subscribed by mistake to a trial version of Sundance through Netflix in our search to find this film, which we wanted to watch again. Set in sumptuous south west France, in and around the pretty riverside town of St Antonin-Noble-Val, this is one of those feel-good films that pits cultures against each other. Like the river, it twists a bit, only for things to end happily ever after. It involves the joy of food, romance and a clash between Indian and French haute cuisine. The solid cast includes Helen Mirren and the late lamented Om Puri, supported by a wonderful soundtrack by A R Rahman. Some lovely comedy moments and glorious countryside. Predictable, yes, but we can all do with a bit of predictability these days. Highly recommended.
Calm with Horses (Netflix)
Set in rural Ireland, this is the story of a broken former boxer who now acts as the enforcer for a dysfunctional crime family. Known as ‘Arm’, the strong and often silent lead character is the brawn called in to mete out violence to those who cross the family’s path. He also has an ex-girlfriend and a young son with autism who becomes calm with horses, hence the enigmatic title. The Arm is a conflicted soul whose misplaced loyalty to the ‘family’ and desire to be a good father threatens his very existence. It’s a moody, violent, menacing film set against a backdrop of bleak landscape and grubby interiors, and quite a lot of silence. Strong performances, direction and cinematography. But not many horses.