A powerful stylistic BBC Two thriller, MOTHERFATHERSON promised so much with a stellar cast, and in the main this first episode duly delivered.
You had to concentrate all the way through this though, otherwise you would have felt snookered on multiple occasions. I did concentrate hard, but even then found myself perplexed at certain times.
If you were hoping for the OAP follow-up version of An Officer and a Gentleman, starring Richard Gere, then you will have been somewhat disappointed because this was anything but a romantic drama. Yes, Gere was a gorgeous as ever here, but his character this time around had a certain impressive menace about him.
In this drama Richard Gere plays a character called Max Finch, a media mogul from the US. Think of a better looking Rupert Murdoch and that pretty much sums him up. Everybody fears Max due to the power and influence that he holds due to his media empire. We saw him have tea with the British Prime Minister Jahan Zakari (Danny Sapani), then moments later meet the leader of the opposition Angela Howard (Sarah Lancashire). A black British Prime Minister and the first female leader of the Labour Party, oh how one can only dream but I certainly believed it.
Alongside Max, the other two main protagonists in this were his ex-wife Kathryn Villiers (Helen McCrory), and their son Caden Finch (Billy Howle). Both performers gave tremendous performances in their roles. Kathryn is of English aristocratic stock and in her spare time we found her working in a homeless shelter. The emotional scene of the two of them in a restaurant together as they recalled a deeply treasured family memory, was a brilliant bit of acting by both worthy of a special mention.
We initially found Caden on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He appeared to be out of his depth as editor of Max's British broadsheet newspaper The National Reporter. I thought Billy Howle gave a super portrayal as a constantly conflicted soul. He appeared to fear his father, fear his job and in general be afraid of life. More will no doubt be revealed as to why he is like this as the weeks proceed.
I must now mention the full-frontal male nudity sex scene featuring Caden. On the plus side, it was great to see this shot for a change from a heterosexual female perspective. Nevertheless, this scene felt somewhat out of place with the rest of the narrative. It felt like a TV show within a TV show if that makes any sense? I guess it was all about the subject of power. Meaning that Caden felt that emasculated from not holding any sort of real power in his general life (family and work), so the only place he could try exerting some power was in a sexual encounter with a woman.
The bit of the narrative though that almost went over my head completely, was the strand concerning phone hacking and a missing girl. It looks like it might have something to do with Caden and Max (the phone hacking bit)...I think. Again, expect more to be revealed as this striking drama goes forwards.
I loved the stunning mise-en-scene throughout which made this drama standout in a positive way. It gave the narrative a stylish, slick and very modern feel.
All-in-all, I found this first episode a very believable piece of work that made for some pulsating viewing along the way. Worth sticking with to see how it all unfolds.
- Watched on BBC Two. 06/03/2019