In a time when there’s a new premiere every other day, a rising star every hour, the hottest thing every minute and the shocking, gripping, spoiler, reveal alert(I know this is cheeky) everytime someone wants to get more clicks it becomes hard to sift the good from the better and the ultimate from the garbage. To throw another one at you and have reasons why is what will happen now, this one though is worth having a look I promise and if its not I give you permission to go to the production company and complain directly with a page of your smeared faeces screaming at them ‘What’s the difference?’….you won’t do that, promise, but if you do please take video before you are removed by the police.
In a time where we are hungry for a positive outlook on the positions of women in the film industry, this is one, three out of the four directors helming the series are female, China Moo-Young (Misfits, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Humans) someone with a handle on the human aspect and the sci fi genre, Kari Skogland the crafty woman behind some of the most enraging eps of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, Rebecca Johnson the masterful manipulator behind ‘Honeytrap’ the kind of film that challenges pre conceived notions of groups that are deemed ‘a danger to society’ the through line with ‘The Rook’(Lionsgate) employing Rebecca is genius, the fourth is the chameleon director Sunu Gonera with plenty of commercial accolades he’s paved the long road into features and tv with an outstanding mark when he completed ‘Pride’ grabbing humans by the horns they will all surely take ‘The Rook’ further into the thrilling ether.
Of course the musing mind of all things secret agency’ish is Daniel O’Malley, and then the screenwriters that have taken the plunge into this world Al Blyth and Sam Holcroft together have fashioned a great first two eps with intrigue as the largest dish on the menu, waking up surrounded by bodies and no memory is just the beginning. They lay down a fascinating approach to the world around them, allowing us to peer behind the curtain first, rather than allude to upcoming grandiosity.
London is an iconic city on any day of the week but it is constantly adapting and surprising the rest of the world with its innovation, this is shown off in The Rook, they take the couch tourist on a thrill junkies journey through locations that at times you forget whether it’s London, Paris or the rough streets of Thailand, the camera teams dutifully pay homage to the diversity that exists in the beast of an organism that is London.
2 episodes in and like all great ensemble casts ‘Goodfellas’ ‘The Avengers: Endgame’ ‘Star Trek’ the weight can’t be left to the wonderfully competent actors in the leads, you must have the star power littered, in this case drenched, in lesser known actors.
Barry Atsma and his part in the henchmen ‘The Lugat’ he plays the enigmatic psycho and it is full of compelling intrigue, hoping he sticks around to be served some justice, brilliant.
Staying with ‘The Lugat’ the up and coming Nikolaos Brahimllari holds his own and then drives it home up against seasoned pros like Adrian Lester, Nikolaos is one those actors that you wish he had been cast as a good guy because you are just waiting to see him again, even though he may be one of the presumed ‘bad guys’, a colourful trafficker/smuggler/could be gangster, so varied you can’t quite tell who is good or bad, he leaves the tired and limited ‘Hard up tough man’ acting in the bin, extremely impressive!
To round these off an actor that makes your head spin, not only a high class badge wearing dramatic actor but also a breathtakingly hilarious comedic actor, the one and only Gina McKee, her work on ‘In the Loop’ cemented her spot as a great, then ‘The Bodyguard’ built her a statue, now all she needs is a real one. Hollywood?
If these aren’t enough reasons to watch ‘The Rook’ then please remove your eyes, send them to someone who knows how to use them properly.