Friday, May 19, 2017

TV Show Review: Guerrilla

I was unfamiliar with the story depicted in Guerilla though it is only loosely based on a true story from what I gather. I had heard about controversy hitting the show before it aired with its depiction of black women. I stuck with it knowing it would only take six episodes and the finale was a few days ago by the time I post this so as one might be able to tell, it wasn't a priority. The show is not as explosive as some other Showtime series and doesn't have a sense of urgency trying to tell a grand story in only six episodes. I found some of the acting interesting though I do think the casting could have been better. Idris Elba as Kent is great as he always is in any role he takes on but he has only a few scenes in the early episodes.

The story revolves around the romance of Jas Mitra (Freida Pinto) and Marcus (Babou Ceesay). Jas admires his drive to make a difference and helps him break out another radical Dhari (Nathaniel Martello-White). Jas had a relationship with Kent but doesn't like how he takes a more passive approach to resisting the racial profiling and acts of the British Parliament. Kent doesn't like the racial profiling but takes a different approach to resistance. He cooperates with the officer investigating the couple and leads them to a hideout.

The lead officer of the investigation is Pence (Rory Kinnear) who struggles with his racism as he had a son with an informant. He is pushed off of the investigation as his secret are revealed. The other officer Cullen (Daniel Mays) who pressures Fallon (Denise Gough), an Irishwoman who has a brother locked up for other unrelated activities. Fallon's former relationship with a friend of Jas and Marcus allows her to receive inside information, which she relays to Cullen.

The criminal acts of Jas, Marcus, and Dhari with the help of Leroy (Brandon Scott) grow as they require money to survive on the run. Kent is revealed to be an informant and the liberation groups turn on him. Eliette (Bella Dayne) is another radical who participates in a public shootout as the group hopes public action will stimulate change. She is murdered in the act by the police investigating the crime after a tip from Kent. 

Guerrilla was a show that looked like it could have been top quality but doesn't quite get there plus I didn't know it was a limited series when I started. It did have two big stars but Idris Elba takes a backseat for most of the drama only using his face for advertising while Freida Pinto gives it her all. I especially liked the performances of Babou Ceesay, Nathaniel Martello-White, and Denise Gough. The ending does have a pretty decent twist that depicts a complicated situation that the show doesn't show in too much of a glorifying way. Complicated stuff comes out in this show but I don't think it was successful in gaining much of an audience for its nuanced message.  

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