Cast: Cillian Murphy (Dunkirk, In The Heart of the Sea), Sam Neill (Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Jursassic Park), Helen McCrory (Harry Potter, Skyfall), Paul Anderson (The Revenant, In The Heart of the Sea), Joe Cole (Skins, Black Mirror)
Screenwriter: Steven Knight (Locke, Redemption)
If you haven’t stepped back to the 1920’s, for the stylish BBC drama Peaky Blinders, based on real-life Birmingham gangsters, then transport yourselves now!
Series creator Steven Knight grew up on family stories, of a Birmingham gang who would sew razors into their peak caps, and use them as weapons. A grizzly thought, but true. He then turned these stories into a narrative, a gripping drama with characters portrayed by some of the most exciting acting talents of our generation, Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill and Helen McCrory.
Series one is a simple story. Guns have disappeared from an ammunitions factory. And Inspector Chester Campbell (Sam Neill) is charged to find them before they fall into the wrong political hands, such as the communists or the IRA.
Intelligence leads him to three men, Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy), Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson), and John Shelby (Joe Cole). Brothers, World War I decorated soldiers, and members of the Peaky Blinders.
Second eldest brother Thomas (Tommy) is without doubt the brains and clearly the gang leader. He is the perfect example of an anti-hero, and Murphy’s execution of Tommy’s resourcefulness and menacing stillness is a joy to watch.
Before too long Campbell and Shelby are mortal enemies. There’s real distain, yet a covert respect for one other. They outwit one another like a strategic chess game, it’s so clever and creates lots of drama.
All characters have an arc, and watching Peaky Blinders is like immersing yourself in an acting masterclass.
The violence brutal, the filmmaking cinematic, and humour sharp.
It may be a period piece, but it’s very much a contemporary drama, by its use of music and that the women aren’t victims, they’re strong and all equally resourceful.
“By order of the Peaky Blinders” I insist you watch now!
Words: Claire Bueno
|Runtime: 1 hour, 6 episodes, 2 series||Year: 2014||Genre: Crime, Drama||Streaming Service: Netflix UK, Netflix US|