I looked at the plot before hand, but only briefly. I wanted to know what was going on but still be surprised and gripped to the screen. The film did not disappoint.
The thriller had the two key ingredients – a psychotic killer and obsessive and an unwilling victim who was prepared to risk her life to escape. The way Clare stabbed him in the hand with a screwdriver was gutsy and how she cunningly beat him with his own weapon was sneaky.
At first looks you wouldn’t think that anything was wrong with Andi or odd but looks can be deceiving. Under that neat beard and nice eyes, there was a monster who would manipulate, abuse and lock woman away against their will. His creepy stare and photobooks of disturbing naked photos would be enough to damage someone for life. Especially if they are not you…
Of course this man had no intention if stopping after his previous victim Nathalie and moved on to Clare. A sweet young Australian tourist who just wanted to travel and develop memories.
The plot was definitely gripping and my eyes were locked on the awful situation in front of me. My criticism was that Clare got involved with Andi very quickly and didn’t really think “hmm I don’t know this guy and I am on my own so I should probably be careful”. I think the “stranger danger” advice that parents tell their children is relevant here. Furthermore the dangerous fling between Andi and Clare was a bit naive and rushed.
What a film and my attention was glued to the screen right to the end! Apart from my little criticisms, it would be happy to see it again or recommend it to others!
Based on my review, I would give Berlin Syndrome 4 stars as it was gripping, captivating and nail bitingly tense!
In this second episode, we saw more emphasis on Priest Micheal Kerrigan (played by Sean Bean), than the young struggling mother, Christina Fitzsimmons (played by Anna Friel).
As a priest, he has not had the most innocent past. During a woman’s confession, he revealed that he abused women and used for sex. It is not everyday that you find out that your priest had those shocking intentions. As he explained, he was very young and took advantage of them because he could.
Priest Micheal Kerrigan did not have the best time in this episode. Alongside his confession to the woman, he unintentionally contributed to the death of a young man. When he could have gone and helped him, he decided to ignore the phone call, only to find out the horrible news in the sermon the next morning.
He found the guilt extremely overwhelming, however he had to make a choice: Should he tell the boys mother of his guilt or be the priest that she needs for her grief and support her? I also tried to imagine what I would do in that situation – if I would have the guts to tell her that he may still be alive if I picked up the phone. I don’t think I would be able to.
The episode was gripping but not in a thriller way. It made me think about my morals and regrets. It showed that guilt could be very overpowering, and that even so, a man can turn his life around and get forgiveness from God.
I could not look away from start to finish and I am eager to see what the next episode has holds. With so much in the priests past, I have no doubt that there are many more shocks and revelations to come.
I would give the review 4 stars as it was morally gripping from start to finish! The series is different to other BBC dramas and I like it!
Have your say
What did you think of the review? Did you like it or want to get involved? Feel free to comment on this post on Facebook or Twitter!
So we had similar faces, such as DS Steve Arnott (acted by Martin Compston), SI Ted Hastings (acted by Adrian Dunbar) and DC Kate Fleming (acted by Vicky McClure). They were returning characters.
New team member included DC Jamie Desford (acted by Royce Pierreson) and DCI Roz Huntley (acted by Thandie Newton).
So overall, new viewers of this series will not have to worry too much about what has happened previously. As it is a new case, the series will have new challenges and will be more thrilling than the previous three series.
The case followed an abduction of a young girl after two girls previously had been murdered. The Senior Investigator had gathered evidence and closed the case, yet FI Tim Ifield (played by Jason Watkins) had his doubts and got AC-12 involved.
The case was gripping and we saw horrible scenes of abduction, by a figure, whose face was hidden by a balaclava, and was wearing a black leather jacket. Micheal Palmer was arrested on the suspicion of attempted murder, and he claimed to be visiting his nan in the nursing home (7.30 – 8.30) then he ate some sandwiches on a wall. He did not remember where the wall was and said that he had nothing to do with the fire, the abduction or the jewellry evidence. He was not sure about any of it and he was very sketchy. He was later charged.
The victim could not prove that it was Micheal and the evidence did not really suggest it was him after it was examined by FI Tim Ifield and presented to DS Steve Arnott at AC-12. No carpet fibres were on the jewellry, so they may have been planted there. A boot print at the scene did not match any of the investigators and showed that may have been someone else in the house.
The senior officer DCI Roz Huntly, the SIO who closed the case previously, was very dismissive towards new evidence and always seemed to feel that she had grasped it all. In some way it is selfish. Micheal Palmer was convicted, which was quick, however this seemed too quick… The evidence could have been pointing towards him, but was it deceiving? DCI Roz Huntly also seemed very dominating and unrespectful. She was just doing her job, but was she really looking into the evidence. Was she bending the facts to close it under pressure?
Fleming and Arnott started to investigate Micheal Farmer for the murder of two girls and attempted murder of one, more recently. Micheal Farmer was accused of the rape of a young 15 year old girl, so was that really enough to charge him on? They wanted to dig deeper and Fleming was now part of SIO Roz’s team temporarily, as a way to gather more evidence on Micheal Farmer. She was confident that their team was following procedures and felt that all her good work was being too critically analysed.
FI Tim Ifield was very into the evidence and throughout the episode, he reviewed evidence again and again which was slightly suspicious. He said that no black fibres or balaclava fibres were found on the victim’s body, in Micheal’s car or his house. This evidence could be quite obvious – the balaclava man on the CCTV had size 10 feet, whilst Micheal was size 8. Was Micheal Farmer framed for the murders by a man who committed all three?
FI Tim Ifield went to visit the cafe where Hana, the 3rd victim worked and was visited by Roz who confronted him about looking at the evidence for Micheal Farmer. She questioned why they were looking over the evidence. She used her status and authority to convince him that she was right about the case. She lashed out at him and raised her voice.
To our shock, we saw FI Ifield push Roz in defence and she fell onto his floor, blood lying in a puddle under her head. He went to his backpack and and got out a balaclava and black jacket. Was he the murderer? He was in the investigating team; he had AC-12 around his little finger and had their trust. Was poor Roz in trouble now?
My liking towards him grew lesser and lesser whilst I started to feel sorry for Roz more. Her character is domineering and authoritative but in this position, she is vulnerable. I just hope that she survives.
There are many little nooks in this case and some quite similar to the previous series.
We have an insider who could have been the murderer. He has their trust and no bad police record, but worst of all, he is an FI! He knows how to hide and present evidence to frame others. He is a skilled nightmare, but did he do it?
I was not a fan of CIO Roz at the start of the episode and she did not seem liked by others, except her assistant. She came across as quite rash and was quick to frame Micheal for the murders. However she was very wrong, and to find out face to face, in such a vulnerable position, I just hope that the AC-12 team are given a little clue, otherwise the case will not be solved.
Gripping beyond a doubt and it kept me on my toes right to the end…. the AC-12 team must be prepared to fight hard for this case!
The thriller continued in the second episode. Ellen was still pursuing Paula and decided to get more involved in finding out her intent. She started to get more and more suspicious and this was attracting the attention of her family and psychiatrist husband.
She was not intimidated or scared of Paula, but should she be?
“So that’s it she jumped?” She wanted justice and wanted her to go down for the crime, yet she had no proof that Paula did it.
Ellen’s husband said that is was suicide and “wanted it to be all about us”. This was another thing to think about after giving birth to her newborn baby.
Paula turned up one day with flowers – trying to butter her up? She tried to be supportive and asked questions like “why did she call you?” as if she did not know what was going on. She also offered some motherly advice, which they did not appreciate.
Kay’s husband did not know why Kay jumped (or fell?) and confirmed that she was upset by an interference with someone, but who was it? She suggested that someone else was on the roof and tried to plant the idea.
Paula read the remembrance at Kay’s funeral and it was emotional. They went back a long way. She broke down half way through and Paula came up to finish. She said a few words like she knew Kay well.
Ellen bonded with her daughter by investigating whether she was with her husband, Keiran that night. It was a bit of spy work. Ellen was at a sleepover that night apparently according to her husband. But what was all he said…
Ellen went back into work one day and it was all normal. No one stopped straight away to see her, expect her boss when he looked up from his paperwork. They did not want to put her under any pressure to be there too early and told her to “sleep on it”.
Ellen found Paula’s daughter on Facebook and messaged her, obviously hoping to find something out that they were not telling her. They messaged each other, but what she did not know was that Paula was behind the messages. So where is her daughter? and does she have one?
Ellen asked to see Kay’s phone and slightly upset her husband. Ellen asked questions about a potential affair and then she leaves. Paula walked around the corner and stared at the car as she drove away. She knew that she was suspicious and could start playing dirty back. She found a number in her phone and a name of “Georgia” who worked for a architectural company. Kay contacted her about a project but they never followed her up on it. She wanted to carry it on…
She wanted to get to know Paula and that could then uncover more of her tendencies. She met Paula’s daughter who seemed normal. And not soon after, she bought her baby into work everyone loved her and Paula held her for a bit too long. She seemed tense and said how she would love to start again – maybe it was jealousy? either way it was odd.
To her surprise, She was offered a promotion to replace Kay and it was a chance to start a fresh.
Ellen felt a bit left out and left the office, under the watchful eye of Paula. She left for the meeting and Paula found out where she was going. She recognised the workplace from her CV and Paula called and warned Georgia. Georgia then left and told Ellen to stop harassing her.
Ellen left her child in the car, and Paula took a photo of her unattended baby! As leverage or bribery or just for looking? Something was off…
Paula showed the photos to the police and lied about the timescales. She made it out that Ellen left her baby for 10 minutes…. He advised that she talked about the way she felt and did not mention ANY of her theories about Paula. She talked to the psychiatrists who then made a report and a support pack for her.
She visited Paula’s house to find that her daughter was at a sleepover… she was never around? After a tense conversation and some sneaky eye movements from Paula, their husbands left and they both were left alone.
She confronted her about her intentions – she knew about the photos she took and told her that she had reasons to kill Kay. Paula never showed off her daughter and that’s not what a proud mother does. Where was her daughter?
The episode ended on a cliffhanger with Paula saying ” OK, you win”….
The episode was tense and hands on and showed us a more suspicious and creepy side to Paula.
After giving birth to her child, Ellen is still quite delicate and needs to ease herself back in slowly. Ellen is taking it in her stride and is sticking to her views and suspicions. This is a dangerous move as everyone else around her sees something else – a nice women with no bad intentions. Ellen is coming across as slightly crazy and unstable, which works in Paula’s favour.
I am worried that Paula now is in too deep and will be in the firing line. This will threaten her work, personal life and her relationships with people. The question is ….. is it all worth it??
We will find out in the last episode next week! Exciting!
Let me know what you think of the review and the episode!
The series features Morven Christie as Ellen and Vicky McClure as the suspicious and too good to be true replacement, named Paula.
The three part thriller follows Ellen. Ellen goes on maternity leave only to become increasingly paranoid about the motives of the person covering for her.
After pulling off a £12.2 million deal, Ellen had been made a new associate and after being sick the next morning, she discovered that she was pregnant.
A new replacement, named Paula was introduced and she came across as confident and felt that she was ready. They hit it off straight away and were bonded over lunch.
Paula had already met the client and had visited the library. She had looked into new ideas to change the building and was already interfering before she started the work. It was worrying Ellen… Her boss wanted to introduce her to the company earlier, to work there when she was around. It looked like she had the company wrapped around her little finger.
Ellen visited the site to find Paula there. She got on the building site and had got in with the access code. She was meeting all the bosses and found Ellen’s husband, Ian’s phone number. She seemed like she knew too much and had already invited them for Sunday lunch. She even stopped her eating cheese and kept commenting on the baby. Paula was really getting on with the client, maybe better than she did.
Paula was going ahead with the development and she was organising things behind Ellen’s back, such as a presentation to the client. She did not CC her in to any communications with the client’s PA and never wanted to get her involved. Of course Paula bought up Ellen’s mental state and suggested that she would make herself ill with this all going on with the pregnancy. She was making her out as someone who was unfit to work and was slowly taking away her responsibility. She was trying to be her replacement.
She felt isolated at work and had to get her involved in the presentation to the client. She was great at presenting and she had the attention of all her colleagues. By pointing out that she was not CCd in and by having a slightly heated conversation with Paula, she was
Ellen’s boss suggested that she should take her maternity leave early and she would be out the company for longer. She was in a good mental state to be on the building site, but colleagues disagreed and her husband was starting to question her mental state. Paula had called Ian and told her that her colleagues were worried about her- concerned about her mental state.
The fact that Paula was getting on so well with her colleagues was getting to Ellen. After 10 years, she was slowly being isolated from the group after 10 years.
She went to look and view tiles on the building site and fell. Ellen was with her, observing and reported it to health and safety. She was suspended and told to come back when she was ready. Ian, her boyfriend and ex Psychiatrist, was convinced that she should not come back because of her mental state.
For the next three months, Paula was in the driving seat and not had full control of it. She was oddly comfortable and smug. She was planning on coming back and replacing her, but would that still happen in a few months…
She was called to the site to talk with her boss, Kay but when she arrived, it was empty. Kay fell from a height and we do not know how! She was going to tell Ellen something, and then she died… suspicious! Paula was then seen in many menacing scenes at the end, all zooming in as she stared out of the window. Was it all just unfolding?
I was reluctant at first believe that she was was dangerous, but as she got too involved way to quickly, her intention became clear. Yet it only became clear to Ellen – the rest of the team were wrapped around Paula’s finger and slowly started to isolate her from the plans.
I am eager to find out what Kay was going to tell Ellen, before she fell on the site? It could have been important – maybe worth killing for to stop it getting out?
Gripping and definitely thrilling, I was on the edge of my seat and I am excited to find out what else is in store for Ellen.
This 2016 film was produced and directed by Tom Ford. As his first ever screenplay, he has really made it memorable and gripping. I was so desperate to see this film as I had been so intrigued by the trailer.
You can view the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1Ii1LjyFU . Nocturnal Animals is also available to view at most cinemas.
The scene opened up to an art gallery exhibition, displaying naked large women in various positions. Susan, the gallery owner, looked stunning, but there was something about her that did not seem right.She returned home to a large, simplistic house and to a husband who was equally good looking, yet they were unhappy and wanting different things.
Out of the blue, Susan was sent a movie script that was written by her ex husband, Edward. The script, titled “Nocturnal Animals” brought back memories for Susan as that was what he used to call her when they were together.
The script followed a family going away for the weekend, consisting of Tony (the father), Marfa (the wife) and their daughter. Their road trip was leading them down a long isolated road, with little signal. At this point, I had a bad feeling that something would happen and not long after this they caught up with two cars, which were blocking each lane. Tony was getting quite agitated by this and Marfa was trying to calm him down.
Tony tried to get past the two cars, and while he was was level with them, he saw that they were all smoking and messing around. The two cars started to play a dangerous game of dodgems and knocked his car off the road. One of the drivers approached the car, and were adamant that he had caused the damage to his car.
At this point Marfa and his wife were asked to get out the car while the strangers offered to fix the flat tyre, despite their violent nature. They wanted Tony to come with them to the police station and report the accident – and requested that his wife and child were driven in their car, while he was accompanied by one of their men in his. He refused and in response the men grabbed his wife and daughter and drove away with them.
Tony was asked to drive into a desert off the main road. When asked to get out the car, he was left, while the man drove away. I felt so sorry for Tony as he was stick in the middle of nowhere, unaware of where his wife and daughter were. He eventually got to the police after walking to the main road and towards a house. The police investigated the case with him and when he backtracked his steps, near where he was deserted, he saw them….
At this point in real time, Susan called her daughter to hear her voice, worried about how it would feel for this to happen to her. The script reminded her of her past marriage with Edward – the warnings her parents gave her and their advice of not to marry him… as well as his lack of money and ambition that made him ineligible.
She continued the script – engrossed in its story and learnt that his wife had been struck with a hammer and his daughter had been suffocated…. as well as both being raped. He was devastated and worked with the Lieutenant in finding one of the men, who when found, denied all accounts and refused to talk.
With everything going on at home, Susan was distracted in her board meeting and her forgetfulness and lack of sleep raised concern amongst her colleagues. It was only now that we realised the truth between her and Edward – how she thought she was not good enough for him and was found cheating with the man she was with currently.
Events in Edwards script had progressed and Tony thought that he was closer to finding out the truth. The Lieutenant located Ray, a long haired guy, who Tony recognised straight away as one of the men. He was questioned and denied all the events… Tony was getting more angry as he was no closer to finding out what really happened to his wife and daughter. Due to lack of evidence Ray was then released.
Tony and the Lieutenant went out to find Ray, and he was found in the trailer. He admitted that the killing of his wife and child were an accident and that Ray ENJOYED raping his wife! Tony got so angry and killed Ray…. Before Ray fell, he attacked Tony with a spanner and he collapsed with a bleeding head wound. He woke up in the trailer and crawled into the desert… alone and hurt, he fell and was left to die.
She finished the script and felt guilty. Susan wanted to meet Edward and agreed to meet him for dinner. She now understood how much she hurt him and the script was a way for him to get revenge on her. She turned up to dinner but he never arrived.
The film was gripping from the start and has lived up to Tom Ford’s creative reputation. The story was complex and only by the end, did I get the big picture and understand. I found myself unable to look away. This is very high on my list of recommended films.
Comment and let me know what you think of the review and the film.
A divorcee becomes caught in a missing persons investigation. Her story evolves and lies are revealed. It is too late for her to leave now. The plot features known actors such as Emily Blunt and Haley Bennett.
What did I think of the film?
I was gripped from the moment the film started. At first the plot seemed simple, but as you know, thrillers often arent what you expect them to be. The plot thickened and I found myself questioning everything I thought at the start.
I had the opportunity to see it twice and even though I knew the plot, it only made it better.
This film was amazing! If you get the chance to see it, go!