Monday, March 4, 2013

Parade's End

A logistically minded, straight arrow (Benedict Cumberbatch) marries his aristocratic girlfriend (Rebecca Hall) despite the fact that the child she carries may very well not be his. Enduring years of psychological torment from the cruel woman while, he entertains the idea of an affair with a sunny school teacher and suffragette (Adelaide Clemens) before being shipped off to command in the trenches of France. "Parade's End" is a five part miniseries written by Tom Stoppard who adapted three of the four novels written by Ford Madox Ford in the mid-1920s. The series is wonderfully directed by Susanna White, containing brilliant photography, and features excellent performances, especially from Hall who plays a complex, ruthless character much different from the usually sweet, American roles she has come to play in recent years. Cumberbatch turns in excellent work also, although his thick accent makes him nearly impossible to understand at times, and newcomer Clemens is very endearing in a role that needs more fleshing out. Despite these attributes, the series contains many lulls and focuses on too many uninteresting subplots.