For me this week has been full of regrets. First, I sold the currently circuit-breaking scrip in the share market for much less than what I could have gotten. Then I realized I had forgotten to the buy the subscription of Amazon Prime Video for the release of the highly anticipated “Drishyam 2: The Resumption”. By the time I got around the complicated hassle of subscribing, most of my social media mutuals had already posted rave reviews about the Malayalam-language thriller, and some inconsiderate ones had given out spoilers as well. Watching the movie won’t be the same now. With so many interesting releases lined up in the near future on Prime Video, I should probably switch between it and Netflix for my reviews too.
So, coming back to my week, in an almost distraught mood, I decided to invest my time on a recently released series on Netflix; mini-series to be fair and a thriller, so worth the risk. To my satisfaction, “Behind Her Eyes” turned out exactly what I’d expected it to be—a gripping suspense thriller that would keep me hooked throughout. The Erik Richter Strand-directed psychological thriller, which also has its fair share of the supernatural, is based on Sarah Pinborough’s 2017 novel of the same name.
Louise (Simona Brown), a single mother in London who works part time as a secretary at a psychiatric clinic, one night accidentally spills her drink on a man at a bar. That fateful encounter with David (Tom Bateman)—a psychiatrist who has just moved to London and is to become her boss at work—becomes a turning point in her otherwise normal life. Then she has another accidental encounter with David’s wife Adele (Eve Hewson) on the streets. They immediately hit it off as friends. The trio then gets entangled in a complicated relationship with each other. Louise starts an affair with David while she is also best friends with Adele. In all this, the dark sides of the mysterious couple start showing up and Louise is thrown into a storm of suspense, mystery and misery.
Each of the six episodes of Behind Her Eyes, ranging between 47-53 minutes, are so intriguingly suspenseful that the series-length seems inadequate. The filmmakers execute this British web series using single-camera setup and mostly indoor shooting. Not very fancy in terms of production, location and set-design, the film’s highlights are its story and the adapted screenplay, besides the acting of course. Packed in are so much drama, suspense and mind-boggling revelations, and without the need of theatrical antics and grandiosity. There’s some VFX, which is of course necessary for storytelling, and nothing more on the technological side.
On the acting front, the lead trio of Brown, Bateman and Houston complement each other as they share screen-time. The dynamics between their characters demand the actors emote love and passion, which all lead actors do perfectly. Even in parts where the negative sides of their characters need to be projected, the actors manage to have the audience empathizing with their situations. Hewson’s Adele is the most mysterious character in the series. As a traumatized former patient of a mental institution, the layers on Adele’s characters are abundant. Her mood flips every other scene and her eyes terrify their intended target. Hewson does an excellent job of portraying the various personalities of Adele in the film.
Who should watch it?
Behind Her Eyes is an excellent specimen of how a series can be short and be perfectly confined in a season. This series does not leave behind unclosed storylines, forcing the audience to bear with the suspense till the next season. It completes what it starts—unless somebody writes a spin off if it—and this is why Behind Her Eyes is recommended to all those who want to cross over to a series from cinema. Think of this as one lengthy film and you will definitely enjoy it.