A London family face a dilemma after their 13-year-old son Isaac is molested by a Hollywood film producer while filming in the U.S. Unable to pursue the perpetrator through the UK courts they accept ...
Issac Mensah accomplishes his dream of starring on the silver screen; but things don't look bright for the young actor. Behind the scenes, he had been sexually assaulted by film producer Jotham Starr. Determined to keep Issac and his family silent, attorneys bribe them. But Issac's father Manny isn't taking the silence personally as he works to expose what has happened to his son.Written by
Dark Mon£y is a BBC co-production and it does reek a little of someone at our beloved institution green lighting this drama to compensate for failings in the Jimmy Saville debacle. Never the less, this powerful and extremely well acted series deserves to be judged on its own merits as a piece of drama.
The story and this doesn't give any spoilers away as this is all established in the first few minutes is as follows: 13 year old London born, mixed race child Isaac (A superb performance from Max Fincham) returns home from getting his big break in Hollywood, a Science Fiction epic feature film based on a successful children's novel. His well being was charged to Studio Assistant (Her exact title is a little confused) Cheryl (Rebecca Front) - Greeted at the airport by an excited proud father (Babou Ceesay, in a career benchmark performance) we know straight away that not all is well with Issac who is barely hiding the scars of being sexually abused by the films Producer Jotham Starr. Issac reveals a video he took on his phone that has an audio recording of what happened and soon the parents find themselves in a position of being offered a substantial sum of money in exchange for their silence.
The scenario in Dark Mon£y may, to those outside of the industry seem like a rarity but unfortunately this kind of behaviour has been going on in Hollywood for decades and its been long established that it hides a very powerful ring of Paedophiles. In the wake of so many high profile cases coming to light it is right and proper that a dramatic narrative should be used to explore this rarely covered topic. Those in the industry hate pointing fingers at their own, whatever crime they may have committed so it's good to see a production where everyone involved is so clearly dedicated to the material. The screenplay cleverly shows how the incident effects Isaac directly, whose behaviour towards those around him changes and not for the better, as he tries to suppress what happened to him by over compensating elsewhere in his life. His Father has a second son with an ex (A great performance from Susan Wokoma) and an older daughter who has tried and failed thus far to make it in show business. Some of these additional plot elements are a little distracting from the main issue. Although all the supporting cast are great, this really is Fincham, Ceesay's and Jill Halfpenny's film, who plays Issacs wounded mother.
Normally I would wait for a series to finish before reviewing it but this topic felt so important and in the light of other rather ill informed reviews on here, it felt prudent to do it now. This is an extremely well written and well acted drama and while it does have some flaws, they're certainly not with the cast who all give power house performances between them. You live every moment of their pain and share their dilemmas and more often than not, find yourself shouting at the screen, saying you would have acted differently, but knowing for well you cannot really say that for certain until you have been in their shoes. Compelling viewing.
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