"Friends and Crocodiles" traces the changing relationship of maverick entrepreneur Paul Reynolds and his assistant Lizzie Thomas over a period of 20 years from the beginnings of the Thatcher era to the bursting of the dot.com bubble.
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"Friends and Crocodiles" traces the relationship of maverick entrepreneur Paul Reynolds and his colleague Lizzie Thomas over a period of 20 years from the beginning of the Thatcher years to the rise of the electronic age and the dot-com bubble. Paul persuades Lizzie to work for him as his personal assistant, and becomes her mentor. She is inspired by his drive and creativity, but appalled by his lack of organisation and occasionally destructive anarchic lifestyle. After she calls the police to terminate an extravagant party which has got out of hand, they part, vowing never to meet again, but, over the years, their paths continually cross, as Lizzie rises through the corporate world and Paul's fortunes rise and fall. The play is an examination of the nature of personal relationships where work and ideas are more powerful drivers than sexual emotions, and also a panoramic view of the rapid changes in British society in the '80's and '90's. Written by
The title refers to a baby crocodile that main character Paul owns. Paul says he thinks something can be learned from crocodiles because they survived the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. See more »
I can usually appreciate a good Poliakoff TV drama, but this one left me cold and even disinterested. I normally enjoy Damian Lewis's work as well, but his rather detached Paul left me not caring at all about what became of him; the quirky and enigmatic smile became irritating and more importantly, conveyed nothing at all. I felt that Jodhi May held the whole thing together; she seemed to have been written as the point-of-view character through whose eyes we see the ebb and flow of Paul's life, whilst at the same time we observe her rise and rise in the business world, something the self-sabotaging Paul could only envy.
Poliakoff generally sets his stories against a backdrop of historical social and political change. In 'Friends & Crocodiles' the social change covers the time from the hedonistic 1980's to the bursting of the dot com bubble. For me, I felt somewhat irrelevant as a viewer as the narrative dipped in and out of events in time. I believe that Poliakoff was too ambitious in attempting to create a cohesive story covering this time span in only 110 minutes of screen time. The reasons for the shortness of story-telling time may well have been financial - or whatever - but for me, this movie just didn't work, and in the end I didn't care what happened to any of the characters.
I really, really love Stephen Poliakoff's work, but I hope 'Friends & Crocodiles' remains the sole exception.
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