See No Evil
by Andrew Keller
See no evil; for the acting, but not the story.
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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) may have been a little off when awarding See No Evil with the Best Drama Serial Award. The story is a little shallow, the logline is a little false, and the scenery is a little repetitive. However, the acting by Sean Harris and Maxine Peake definitely make it a decent, award-winning made-for-television film. The story is meant to categorize the notorious Moors murders of the 1960s. However, the film really does not focus on the murders. Rather, it depicts the events that occurred between Maureen and David Smith (Joanne Froggatt and Matthew McNulty).
Within the first 10 minutes, the audience is definitely hooked by intrigue. However, this fascination comes not from interest, but rather from confusion. Ian Brady is clearly a psychopath, while his girlfriend and Maureen’s sister, Myra, is definitely a mysterious creature. However, the connections to the murders and the four introductory characters is not really established until the end of the first segment, leaving the audience to wonder why these two stories are being portrayed simultaneously without any sort of established connection for close to an hour.
Myra, however, takes on a Marilyn Monroe gone terribly wrong persona. Her bleach-blonde hair makes her sweet, but her penetrating stare makes her horrifying. Ian is similar, in that he appears to be a casual business man, but in reality, he is a cold blooded killer. The two of them enjoy their secret of being completely terrible people, and not a soul believes they have done what they have done to numerous victims.
In regards to the scenery, the same landscape is shown repeatedly. However, its artistic beauty gets old rather quickly. It is similar to driving through a corn-filled landscape in that one hill and patch of grass looks the same as any other. Sure, it is a very aesthetically pleasing sight, but it gets old really fast. It is not until the film is nearly over that its significance is revealed.
In summary, the logline involving the trial is quite false, as the trial only last about a half an hour. The scenery is a little dull, but the acting is worth the rental.
Andrew Keller is a film critic living in Chicago.
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