The 2018 BBC One series Bodyguard tells the tale of one high profile security personnel who is assigned to protect a top ranking government official of the United Kingdom. His journey takes him through ups and downs, through violent bomb attacks on the backdrop of his personal and family complexities but he handles all the pressure to protect his asset. The series which is also released in Netflix manages the suspense at a constantly elevated level without ever becoming boring or pretentious, reviews Riasat Raihan
Golden Globe winning series Bodyguard released on Netflix in Last September. It was one of the best TV series of 2018 if you ask me. No wonder, it got so many Golden Globe nominations.
The show is about a protection officer David Budd played by Game of Thrones star Richard Madden. In the show, his job is to protect the home secretary of United Kingdom, Julia Montague. It deals with lot of political and international issues as well as personal and real life problems. So, now should you invest six hours into the show? Let’s find out!
The story starts off when David Budd is on the train, coming back from a weekend trip with his kids. Let me tell you this, I’ve never been so hooked into the screen and felt so tense while I was watching the first episode.
The first 20 minutes are definitely award winning. In the first episode, David suspected that there is a suicide bomber on the train and as he suspected, the bomber was a button press away to blow up the whole train. And we are left to watch it as it unfolds. The whole scene was executed perfectly.
I can strongly assert that Bodyguard is completely different and more engaging series I have seen in recent years. One of the major reasons for this claim is because it is placed with visceral and survival instincts.
Threats of possible future terror attacks permeate the atmosphere of the show. It is all surrounded by behind the scenes political moves, complexities and game play that allow your tension to keep rising to an outstanding climax.
But the really interesting factor about the show is that this television series never really becomes what you think it is going to be. There are many clever twists and turns to shake up your minds. The show definitely qualifies as a drama almost being a pure political thriller.
The show keeps giving a feeling that something can happen at any moment and it never leaves you. The creators of the show understood that the quality should not be sacrificed for quantity and they have strongly stuck with the quality till the very end.
When it comes to the action sequences of the series, there is a few which are scattered across the episodes but they all have been directed to near perfection. They are meticulously placed which are just enough to give the show a nice jolt of adrenaline to make it stand out from other series.
The show’s constant driving factor is definitely one basic human characteristics — tension. Pretty much in every scene in the six-episodes is absorbing as a scene can get. This is in the part thanks to John Lee’s cold and sharp cinematography which fits perfectly with the political setting of London.
Moving on to the excellent script and performances, this show really gets to shine. Everything from the political and police jargon will challenge even the most clever viewers. The simple conversations between the characters are shot tightly and up close. This elevates the most mundane situations to a whole new level of restlessness, making it uneasy from time to time which will surely elevate the entire viewing experience.
In the show, the potential of terrorist attack is constant, and it comes with a twist or turn. There are few scenes in the show where my heart rates have gone up into pretty much uncomfortable level, particularly in episode two and six.
There is a large amount of tension in the air where anybody could die at any moment. You feel like that a bunch of times when bombs are placed near you and all the bombs are moving around you. You know that they could go off and probably will go off too, you just never know when.
It’s tough to watch because the characters are so perfectly written, specially the character of the protagonist played by David Budd and there is a level of attachment and fear for him. It makes very tensed and interesting viewing.
Richard Madden’s performance in this production is outstanding. He was able to present an emotional vulnerability which is very rare to see in characters like the one he plays. David Budd has a very complex personality. He is a chronic drinker drinks, has problems in his family, and clearly suffers from some degrees of post traumatic stress disorder.
Not to mention, he has won Golden Globe in the category of best actor in television drama for his role in this series.
All the characters in the Bodyguard feels like real people because of the way the characters have written. Complex in their behaviour, flawed and often misunderstood of their motivations. Unfortunately or fortunately, the series does go off the rails about midway through after a certain but rather unexpected event takes place.
Overall, the show is intense and thrilling and never insults the viewers’ intelligence. It manages the suspense at a constantly elevated level without ever becoming boring or pretentious. But I think the main reason you should give bodyguard a shot because of how fear and paranoia is presented in even the most courageous of characters.
David Budd is placed in so many situations that could end his life and the lives of others too. Instead of being stiff machine like an average bodyguard, Richard Madden shows his emotional range extremely well. He also looks afraid, irritated and well, human sometimes, which makes him more versatile for this role.
Apparently, the show is rumored to be renewed for two more seasons, but for me I think the story is wrapped up. If I am being honest, I don’t think it needs any more. If it gets another season, we could see David is saving another person or even the prime minister of the United Kingdom but I Just don’t see it being as gripping as it was in the first season. It will be predictable.
Bottom line, Bodyguard is definitely worth watching, despite of all its drawbacks.
Riasat Raihan is a member of the New Age Youth Team.
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