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Prime Suspect: The Final Act (2006)
Intelligent AND entertaining!
"The Final Act" is the splendid concluding episode of a (generally) gripping series. As in the very best crime dramas, the focus really isn't the plot or the "whodunnit?" but the character of the central players. And if Helen Mirren almost eclipses them, that's only a bonus for the viewer. The tension is generated not by the crime plot (which is serviceable but predictable) but from Mirren's gripping portrayal of the powerful and all-too-human Jane Tennyson who treads the tightrope of her final days in her career. She somehow manages to give us a woman who balances the angels and the devils in her character without once lapsing into the predictable or the incredible. And THAT's what keeps you leaning forward in your seat.
God, but she's good!
Here is Dickens at his best: the Royal Shakespeare Company distills the novel into a compelling and absorbing drama. The staging is impeccable and the artful addition of music and naration sweep the viewer into the very heart of the work. Drama, comedy, melodrama, and tragedy are all woven together by brilliant acting and no-less-brilliant directing.
The original stage production in London and New York demanded two whole evenings, and the DVD faithfully re-creates the experience. The nine hours seem all-too short! This DVD production is a benchmark for the medium. The rich and dreadful world of mid nineteenth century London bursts to life with minimal sets that allow the superb cast to perform their magic; your living room becomes a theatre and draws you in.
Not to be missed!