Drives the story into action more, while still showing new developments in the characters
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
With the main characters being established in the first part, the second part concentrates more on making the story more dramatic, while adding new dimensions to the old characters. Mike (James Nesbitt) has returned to Basra to search for Aliyah (Lubna Azabel) the Iraqi doctor he has fallen in love with. But he's also being leaned on by Danny (Stephen Graham) and his business partner, the American marine who helped them out in April 2003, Erik Lester (Nonso Anozie), to put in a good word for them to help them oversee the reconstruction of the hospital as well as provide protection for the Iraqi people. Meanwhile, Hibbs (Warren Brown) finds nothing worthwhile keeping him at home, and joins his old friend in the private security world, only for a terrible tragedy to force him to return home, where he is tipped over the edge on July 7th. While Mike battles to save his marriage and Danny struggles with his conscience, everything builds up for a dramatic conclusion on Hibbs's return to Basra.
As the tension builds up, so the performances have to match the pace, and Peter Bowker keeps the pace going with the second instalment of Occupation. Nesbitt keeps the lead role going with gusto, as a man struggling to manage traumas at home and overseas, but the real stand out again is Graham, as the increasingly intense and irritable Danny whose financial seduction has taken over his judgement. You could almost see this happening in real life in this situation, as the chaos and injustice runs riot and no-one is really answerable to anyone. Hidden depths and new layers also emerge from Brown, as a young man who returns home a very different person from the boy who went to fight in war. With the stakes raised and the characters less two dimensional, the stage is set for the final part which promises fireworks. ****
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