Safe Review: Is it worth watching?
I think he did it! I think she did it! As Barns Courtney sings off and begins the journey of each episode, “I am flesh and I am bone, rise up, ting ting, like glitter and gold. I’ve got fire in my soul, rise up, ting ting, like glitter”, you really can’t say who actually did it. Harlan Coben delivers once again, this time with his British Crime mini-series “Safe”.
For someone who has watched a lot of suspense thriller genres, Safe will still provide you with the thrill and the unexpected. As the name of the show appears on the iron gate of the closed community in the opening credits, it offers an illusion to the viewers, maybe, maybe it is really not safe inside.
‘Safe’ follows the life of Dr. Tom Delaney (Michael C Hall aka ‘The Dexter’), a widower as he experiences parental issues with his two daughters. In a safe closed community Jenny (Amy James-Kelly) Tom’s elder daughter goes missing after a house party. Tom Delaney along with his best mate Pete Mayfield set out searching for her.
In their pursuit, there to aid them is now Tom’s girlfriend Sophie Mason (Amanda Abbington) who is a detective, and her assistant Emma Castle (Hannah Arterton). As Tom frantically hunts for his daughter, he keeps unraveling secrets about the people around him and ultimate truths about his own family as well.
This is not a first for Harlan Coben. Novels after novels, TV series after TV series, ‘Safe’ is not, just another thriller or suspense watch. It will offer you tenterhooks but does not make it a lousy long one. Spanning over just eight episodes it might just be a perfect watch for the weekend.
But the shorter screen time does not take away any of the exhilaration, as Harlan intricately develops his characters and his story, dropping bombs every now and then, throwing us off-guard, and exhibiting easter eggs throughout the series building up to the climax.
Each episode begins with a scene at the party after which Jenny went disappearing, taking the viewers back and forth to those particular days of the week where all the action takes place.
Safe: Actors, Acting and More
For someone who is used to watching Michael C Hall as a serial killer under the name of Dexter for eight years, it suddenly is so difficult to accept him as a family man with two daughters, and above all being an innocent guy. But Michael Hall is certainly a selling point for Safe.
A lot of disapproval was apparently put forward for an American guy doing the British accent, and to be honest it isn’t that bad. Maybe for the British folks who have been born and brought around that particular accent, but even for someone who might have been a lot indirectly familiar with the accent, Michael has done a pretty decent job.
Not to specifically mention his stage performance; a widower and a parent with a missing child, it was quite a convincing acting performance. Amanda Abbington as Sophie Mason, oopsy, Sergeant Sophie Mason! Detective work doesn’t seem anything new for her with having already played Mrs. Watson in Sherlock Holmes, she alongside Michael was remarkable.
The major cast and their work are praiseworthy. Though the plot focuses mainly on the four or five major characters, a lot of the sub cast plays quite important roles and pretty impressive as well for the story to move forward.
Safe: Story writing
A huge amount of criticism could be made about parts of the show not being realistic enough. But Harlan has carefully knit together these parts of unpractical occurrences with fictitious characters for the sole purpose of delivering shock and awe. The major basis of such criticism also goes to the type of characters and the sort of behavior that is expected from them.
A one-dimensional character cannot be expected to perform the actions of a protagonist, which in turn is one of the reasons to be put forward, but the bolt from the blue and the intensity of the plot that is built because of such incidents cannot be ruled out for the thrill of the viewers.
Filmed in Manchester, Liverpool, and Cheshire, ‘Safe’ lies in the exurbs of the English community, and it provides some great camera shots of the countryside, which just look so appealing to the eyes. With opulent houses and magnificent interiors, luxury cars, community barbecues, a little little bit of adultery, crazy teens with a house party, a missing girl, a dead body, the whole closed ‘safe’ community is full of secrets, to be revealed.
Comprising of eight episodes, as much as binging it in one go is a luxury, watching it in one sitting might just be the ideal way to watch ‘Safe’, just constantly being in touch and not losing any connection with the characters or the narrative will just keep the thrill of the watch intact.
Background score: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 7/10