Good intentions. Erratic bosses. Mounting paranoia. Unforeseen consequences spiraling out of control. Heidi (Julia Roberts) works at Homecoming, a facility helping soldiers transition to ... See full summary »
In an interesting coincidence, his second wife Marion, Countess Harewood's long time great friend, Benjamin Britten, who she mentioned in dialogue, died on December 4, 1976, 38 years, to the day, before her husband, the subject of this mini-series, Jeremy Thorpe, died on December 4, 2014. See more »
Remarkable turn by Hugh Grant elevates the uneven story.
Reviewed after parts one and two... If anything changes, I'll update this.)
The trademark frantic touch of Russel T. Davies (the man who put Doctor Who in the toilet for a generation of British TV viewers) is all over this 3 part drama. It moves along at a brisk pace and what would a TV drama be without flashbacks? Thankfully, there are few of them and they are kept fairly brief.
Hugh Grant is the center of attention here, proving (once again) that he can play it straight. To me, the physical mannerisms are captured with amazing accuracy - however, the character isn't how I remember Jeremy Thorpe to be.
Grant's Thorpe is a ruthless, cunning and sharp academic, plotting his political survival against the legal (and public) perception of being a gay man. But, I recall Jeremy Thorpe coming across publicly as an odious, rather creepy, social imbecile. That dank, greasy black hair was an abomination when he appeared in front of the camera! Here, thankfully, he has been cleaned up a bit for modern TV!
His brief and moderate rise in public favor had more to do with the lack of support for the other main parties rather than anything that he and the Liberal party brought to the table. Also, the Liberal party was riddled with shady characters at that time. David Steele, Cyril Smith, et al! Then again, the Tories had Edward Heath, so...
Anyway, British politicians absolutely love their secrets, lies, and deceptions, so it was no surprise to anyone when Thorpe was hauled in front of the Old Bailey to answer charges of 'incitement' and 'conspiracy to commit murder'. He was cleared but the stink never left him. His political career never recovered.
The story here seems to be a bit rushed to make room for Hugh Grant to march about being Jeremy Thorpe. For example, in an effort to increase his popularity with the electorate (by five percent) he decides to get married. In almost the next scene, he's posing with his wife and baby! There follows some quite uncomfortable scenes featuring this instant 'family' as the wife eventually cottons on to what's going on. (Meanwhile, the rest of the country had been quietly chattering about Thorpe's sexuality for decades!)
If you remember that this isn't a biographical and factual account, then it's enjoyable drama...
Grant and the players are a treat, the production is (of course) top notch... but the unraveling of the story is is a bit of a mess.
17 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this