by Del Harvey
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Fallen Angel is based upon the internationally acclaimed crime saga Requiem for an Angel: The Roth Trilogy by Andrew Taylor, and stars Charles Dance and Emilia Fox. Ethereal beauty Angel Wharton is the devil in disguise. When she kidnaps a child and brings her home to her pedophile roommate, her inhumanity is clear. But what—or who—made her that way? Based on the acclaimed Roth Trilogy by crime writer Andrew Taylor, this riveting British miniseries explores the making of a murderer. Emilia Fox (The Pianist) and Charles Dance (Bleak House) star. Presented with SDH subtitles. Running time approx. 207 min. on 2 DVDs.
This mini-series is part family saga and part crime drama. It is the story about the making of a murderer, told in reverse. Like peeling the successive petals of a rose, each of the psychological episodes strips away the layers of the sociopath’s history, hurtling backwards to show us how and when the mind became twisted, and the soul sick.
Rosemary or, as she is better known, Angel, is a twisted individual who manipulates the people around her in order to get what she wants. The first episode reveals a woman who is out for revenge. She kidnaps the daughter of her victim just to put them through hell. As the episode progresses, we soon discover that quite a few of the main players have had dealings with Angel in the past.
Mark Benton stars in the first episode as the owner of the house where Angel is living. Eddie is a little simple and, after his mother’s death, looks to Angel as a mother figure. And it is Eddie that Angel manipulates in order to abduct the child. Benton can’t be faulted here as he puts in a great subtle performance and it’s impressive the way that the writers play with the viewers emotions over the course of this episode.
Each episode examines a different time in Angel’s life in order to further explore how she became a cold, calculating, and manipulative murderer. In the second episode we re-visit Angel’s teenage years, when she was awaiting her exam results to see if she managed to get into university. The final episode travels back to see her as a young girl so that we can witness the events that started her on the road to ruin.
Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.
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