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A complex, moving story of life in the big bad city, in this case London. The tragic, senseless, futile murder of a beautiful young woman, just embarking on her journey through life, acts as a catalyst of change for a large and diverse group of people seemingly unconnected with this terrible event. As the ripples of change expand this group of people come under increasing pressure to face the harsh realities of their existence and turn away from the cosy fantasies they thought they knew. Some discover an inner strength that inspires them to better their lives and look to the future with hope but for others the overwhelming waves of despair and despondency push them ever nearer to the edge of the abyss. Watching it all with a jaundiced eye and a practiced put down, apparently aloof and untouched by events, is Gary Rickey, born Billy Rickey in the town of the same name, a London broad sheet food critic who doesn't seem to like food or it doesn't like him. However, even he cannot escape ... Written by
Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A gripping drama with exceptionally strong performances.
'Holding On' clearly demonstrates the devastating toll, that modern day living imposes on it's society. We are blessed with an eight part mini series, that interludes the trials and tribulations of London's inhabitants. Sticking the knife in as deep as he can, Tony Marchant's screenplay, provokes your mind with traumatic scenes of anguish, desperation and utter self absorbtion.
Two seperate murders occur; one that involves a mentally ill white man who, unprovoked, viciously stabs a young woman to her death-while the other is carried out by a stressed out taxi driver, who maliciously kills a young black man, as he slams his car door into his head, repeatedly (which resembled Vinnie Jones' scene in 'Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels' but comes across with a much heightened, shocking realism). Highlighting the fact that the two victims are of different race was purposeful; this is in fact one of the most harrowing aspects of 'Holding On' as it tackles a very controversial subject INJUSTICE. The bereaved family of the young back man suffer a double injustice, for they have to come to terms with not only losing him, but falling at the hands of the British Judicial system, which imposes a laughably short prison term to the murderer.
There's so much to keep your mind occupied, as the series moves along intertwining the characters together, covering the emotions from every individual. Strong elements of symbolism run deep into the heart of each one of the issues covered; from mental illness, isolation, loneliness, class differentiation (working class/middle class)....I personally had extreme feelings of empathy for all concerned-but then how can you not, when the acting is so vividly portrayed. David Morrissey and Lesley Manville are particularly dazzling throughout, lending much insight into their craft as actors.
With so much anger, inner turmoil, fallen dreams filling our darkened paths, we all need to wake up and realise that fighting through adversity TOGETHER...not against, will help to protect our vulnerable shells and inspire warmth and happiness.
This superb mini-series truly is in a league of it's own. The finest that has graced our screens for many years. Many souls out there will certainly be crying out for VHS/DVD versions to own and cherish forever....I know I certainly am.
**VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**
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