A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends - Nicky, Geordie, Mary and Tosker - from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal ...
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A nine part series depicting the varying fortunes of four friends - Nicky, Geordie, Mary and Tosker - from the optimistic times of 1964 to the uncertainties of 1995. Taking nine pivotal years (1964, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1995) the personal lives of the characters become intertwined with the political struggles of their home town of Newcastle, and the capital, London. We also see the machinations behind the scenes that affect their lives, often for the worse: slum housing projects, police corruption, the rise of Thatcherism, political sleaze, and specific events like the 1984 Miners' Strike. Written by
Alasdair Mackenzie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Our friends in the North is one of those things you grow to admire in time, long after the details have left your mind and its melancholy essence has been absorbed by your consciousness. You will go back to this essence many many times as you grow old and find yourself identifying with someone or the other in this majestic work.
It covers 30 years for the most turbulent period in modern British history starting from the early sixties with its anxious flirtations with radical Marxism and ending in the bland nineties enmeshed in the muck of decadent consumerism. The plot revolves around four friends who are archetypes of the times and the greatness of Peter Flannery's script is to lay out in exquisite detail the fantastic interplay of archetypes and time. Some of the greatest of British actors played their life defining roles like Gina Mckee, Christopher Ecclestone, Mark Strong and a young Daniel Craig whose performance alone should make it worth seeing. Its a kind of work which is now largely impossible today primarily because of the class it focuses on; lower middle class Britain and their problems. In our post political age, where the public has been largely relegated to be spectators to their lives, its refreshing to witness a time where politics was the heart and soul of many lives who wanted to change the world albeit a bit foolishly. Nick ( Ecclestone ) is one such character. The cinematography is not the best but the plot makes up for it. Multi episode TV series like this was a creation of British TV and there is no better example to show how time is such a valuable thing to have in narrative expositions. Every episode focuses on a year and three decades gives the audience the chance to see characters play out their fated, entangled lives amidst all their joys and failures, swimming in the turbulence of sweeping historical changes.Every work of literature invariably comes up against the shores of narrative completeness where it faces its most troubled critics. Our Friends in the North has that self contained completeness where you are hard pressed to find leakages and thus you can say with a proud boast that its complete. There is an inevitability to the flow of lives that gives it a self sustaining rhythm till the end where you realize that nothing could have been any different. You feel for every character because by the time you have reached the end, you have come to believe in the old Buddhist maxim which exhorts man to believe in no judge-mental God who sits and punishes from above but to believe in man himself who weaves his own destiny, thread by thread which at the end of time, can chain him to the rock or carry him over to the heavens. A masterpiece which will last many a storm of time.
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