Agatha Christies
THE WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION
 (2016) British TV mini-series

 

Producer: Mammoth Screen, Agatha Christie Productions, BBC

Director(s): Julian Jarrold

Writer(s): Sarah Phelps
(Based on the Agatha Christie short story – not on the expanded play)

Cast:  Billy Howle, Kim Cattrall, Monica Dolan, Toby Jones, Andrea Riseborough…

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA): Not rated

Runtime: 120 minutes (Two one-hour episodes)

Genres: Crime/Drama/Mystery/Thriller

List Price: $19.18

 

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Reviewed by Cherie Jung
(November, 2017)

 

1920s London.

Mrs. Emily French (Kim Cattrall), a wealthy widow, is found bludgeoned in her London flat. A witness places Leonard Vole (Billy Howle) at the scene of the crime, near the time of the murder, but he insists he is innocent and he claims he has an alibi. His solicitor, John Mayhew (Toby Jones) believes him and takes on the challenges of the case.

The dark and foggy exterior scenes and the tight indoor shots add to the claustrophobic feel of this captivating series. There is a heaviness, a darkness that permeates the story. Post WWI London is struggling to regain its balance following the traumas of war. There are those who have almost everything, like Mrs. French, and those that have very little, like most of the others in this story.

By midway, I thought I knew for certain whom the murderer was. I had even noticed what I thought would be the convicting evidence. But I was wrong.

There are several twists and turns. The solution to the crime is not as straight forward or simple as the cops would have the court believe.

This Agatha Christie adaption may not appeal to viewers who prefer a lighter approach to murder, as in say, “Miss Marple” or “Poirot” (or non-Christie programs like “Midsomer Murders”). However, it is well-filmed, well-directed, and well-acted…just in a more somber vein.


Copyright 2017 Cherie Jung. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of the author is prohibited. OMDB! and OMDB! logos are trademarks of Over My Dead Body!

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