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British screenwriter, producer and director Marc Munden's fifth television miniseries which was written by English screenwriter and playwright Lucinda Coxon, is an adaptation of a novel from 2002 by Dutch author Michel Faber and a UK-Canada co-production which was produced by producers David M. Thompson, Steve Lightfoot and Greg Dummett. It tells the story about an aspiring writer and inheritor of a family business called Rackham's Perfumery named William Rackham who lives in London with his mentally ill wife named Agnes whom he insists on keeping at home despite being advised by a doctor named Curlew to have her temporarily committed. After telling his father who expects him to manage the company about his future plans his allowance is taken away from him, but then William learns from two friends about a 19-year-old woman named Sugar who lives at a brothel and whom according to her reputation never disappoints.
Precisely and engagingly directed by British filmmaker Marc Munden, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated by the female protagonist, from multiple viewpoints and mostly from her's and the male main character's point of view, draws an intriguing portrayal of a somewhat reluctant heir who becomes so infatuated with an intelligent young prostitute that he makes arrangements with her Madame named Mrs. Castaway so that he can see her exclusively, his relationship with his spouse and the restrained relationship between his brother named Henry whom is becoming a clergyman and a woman who does work for the rescue society named Emmeline. While notable for it's naturalistic and atmospheric milieu depictions, sterling production design by production designer Grant Montgomery, cinematography by cinematographer Lol Crawley, costume design by costume designer Annie Symons, fine make-up by make-up artist Jacqueline Fowler and use of sound and light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about social injustice, class distinctions, poverty and loss of innocence depicts two contrasting studies of character and contains a great instrumental score by composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer.
This literary, romantic, conversational and at times humorous period drama which is set in the capital of England in the mid-19th century during the Victorian Era (1837-1901) and where a woman who in order to survive has spent most of her life pleasing men and who whilst searching for her identity and writing a novel about all the atrocities done by males that she has witnessed and experienced meets and makes a lingering impression on a married and resourceful man who gets her away from a lifestyle she has dreaded for years, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, interrelated stories, colorful characters and involving acting performances by English actress Romola Garai, Irish actor Chris O'Dowd and Scottish actress Shirley Henderson. A heartrending, epic, historic and dramatic mystery.
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