It took a while for the first episode of KEEPING FAITH to introduce the mystery this reviewer was waiting for, but when it came, it was superbly done.
The story begins in the Howells’ household, shortly after the birth of their third child. Faith, who is played by Eve Myles, is set for a night out with the ladies. Her husband, Evan, played by Bradley Freegard (the real-life husband of Myles), helps her get ready and looks after the three children while she’s gone. The next morning, a hungover Faith watches her husband leave in his car for work, which is the last time she sees him before he goes missing.
For the first half of this episode, Keeping Faith views like a happy family drama - with Faith coming across as the headstrong and eccentric mother and wife. She is wisecracking and seems the happy-go-lucky type.
The happy and whimsical tone surprised me, and I would have preferred a darker tone. However, it does set a nice contrast for the latter parts of the episode, when the mystery is introduced.
Keeping Faith is beautifully shot throughout. The characters’ emotions are captured well, especially when Faith discovers a secret her husband has been keeping from her, and when she realises that her husband is truly missing. Keeping Faith doesn’t fail to capture the beauty of the Welsh country, either.
The acting, for the most part, is good. Myles does an excellent job slowly turning from happy mother to panicked wife. Freegard, although not appearing too much in the episode, does a wonderful job portraying subtle hints of anxiety and desperation.
Keeping Faith didn’t get everything right, though. There is one scene where Faith is lying on the floor in her home with her phone to her ear. She’s calling Evan’s phone for what seems like the umpteenth time. She’s clearly upset and begging for Evan to call her back as soon as he hears the message.
The scene would have been great if it wasn’t for the music. For some reason, the music playing seemed too upbeat. It sounded like the type of music you’d hear an American church choir sing. Instead of feeling sorry for Faith and worried about Evan, I felt like clapping and humming along. It ruined what would have been a heartfelt scene, where we witness the beginning of panic set into a worried wife.
The mystery and darker tones are finally introduced in the last ten minutes. The music is more appropriate. There was one scene that made me jump when Faith’s eldest daughter comes to the kitchen with a flashlight and sees someone at the window. As soon as she turns and flashes the light at the window, we quickly see a man looking through and then disappear.
The first episode of Keeping Faith may have started slow, but it ended on a great note. I’m looking forward to the following episodes, as I expect they’ll take a much darker tone and introduce plenty of twists. A must-see for those who enjoy mystery.
- Watched on BBC1. 12/07/2018