Guaranteed review – The Hollywood Reporter
A pizza delivery boy is shot dead in the opening scene of Collateral, a new procedural drama from Netflix and BBC Two in the UK Detective on Duty is Kip Glaspia (Carey Mulligan), relatively new to the business but quickly able to say that the crime appears to have precision and an immediate lack of financial motive, and that the victim had a Middle Eastern name.
What follows for four hours is a circle of coincidence, compromise and complicity that radiates outward and accuses a core of British institutions, from government and media to the military and the Church of England, then even further to the consequences of the war led by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bottom line
This hare moves quickly.
Written by acclaimed playwright David Hare, The Challenge of Collateral for the two detective Glaspia and for viewers, it is about analyzing which details, characters and themes of the series are directly linked to the murder and which are only collateral damage swept aside either by the intimate tragedy of the crime or by the larger societal tragedies. of 2018 Great Britain. Whether Collateral is an insightful treatise on current affairs that happens to have a mystery at its heart or a mystery that stands in honor of the news may end up being in the eye of the beholder, but I am inclined to lean towards this last, which isn’t such a bad thing when you have such a good cast.
The center of the story is Mulligan’s Kip, pregnant and also a former pole vault champion – two pieces of information that are fundamentally unrelated but, like almost everything else in the series, could perhaps be linked on some level. . Hollywood has spent so much time having Mulligan play in different stages of tears and nostalgia in the past and in the indefinite future that it is extremely satisfying to see her being smart, tough and often sarcastic and, most importantly, entirely contemporary. My major mark for the first two hours of Collateral was “not Carey Mulligan enough,” although she does become more central and more exceptional as the series progresses.
There are reasons to expect that Collateral will become the first in a series of occasional visits and surveys featuring Kip, and maybe future installments will find a way to reconcile his age with the various details of his past that look less like traits and more like one writer thinking: It would be interesting if she was too… ”although I will say the payoff for her pole vault was small but satisfying (and not what you think now). Additional seasons could use the mentioned but not really explored class midfielder clash between Kip and his partner Nathan Bilk (a good Nathaniel Martello-White).
This season also includes John Simm like David Mars, an opposition MP with a particular interest in immigration policy, whose troubled ex-wife (Billy Piper) ordered the hapless and instigating pizza. It’s either significant to the plot, like David’s vote in an upcoming referendum on uncontrolled government oversight, or it’s yet another weird coincidence, like the star of Life on Mars play a character with the last name “Mars”. Piper is underutilized, and Simm is above all a spokesperson for an ideology which we assume to be that of Hare. Moreover, when you put John Simm in a politics and crime play like this, I will instinctively think of Inventory and Collateral is, at no level, Inventory.
Used more effectively, Nicola Walker as Reverend Jane Oliver, who just has a past with David Mars and is just in a relationship with Linh (Kae Alexander), the only witness to the main murder and an immigrant with questionable legal status, and if that sounds like a lot of coincidences too, you start to see the blurry line that Hare walks between a butterfly effect style canvas of interconnectivity and designed to the point where the protagonist’s investigation is moot.
Fortunately, Collateral is not really a thriller for long. Kip wants to catch the killer, while the series wants to capture the killer’s state of mind and the circumstances that led to the crime. They relate to a misguided war and in particular to what the series sees as a misapplied approach to immigration policy and its connection to Britain’s waves of racism and xenophobia. Expect to know the difference between “asylum seeker” and “economic migrant” at the end of the four hours. What are the compromises we make to live in safety? What compromises do police make to solve crimes? What are the compromises made by the Church in an increasingly secular world? The ideology is all familiar Hare-ian for those who have seen his plays or the BBC TV movie Page eight and its two follow-up projects. It’s smart and immediate, rather than revealing and introspective.
Hare’s theatrical chops are best on display in the second half of the season, when there’s a handful of huge two-handed conversations, bolstered by series director SJ Clarkson’s ability to get so much tension between two characters who talk about the threat posed by the killer. Clarkson and the series have a sometimes cheeky approach to music, and the transitions between scenes and intrigues keep a frantic pace.
Collateral does not go beyond his welcome and does not leave much hanging, which is a relief. The motivation for Mulligan’s character is the motivation for the show and despite being pregnant, Kip never stops to sleep or eat. It’s probably not ideal for the baby, but as Kip says, “I saw the chance to fix something.” Having Mulligan on the small screen and having him in that kind of a role that British television does so well also makes it seem like it’s fixing something.
Actors: Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Nicola Walker, Billie Piper, Nathaniel Martello-White, Jeany Spark, Hayley Squires, Ben Miles
Creator: David Hare
Director: SJ Clarkson
Premieres: Friday (Netflix)