Devil’s Advocate Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online
Not to be confused with the 1997 film starring Keanu Reeves, Devil’s Advocate is a Netflix limited series set in Kuwait City. Only the second of the streamer’s Kuwaiti projects – the first being The Exchange, which is rather good – this seven-part legal thriller lacks the film’s supernatural component but paddles in the same waters of flexible morality in the justice system.
A famous footballer, Bader, is accused of stabbing his wife Dalal to death, and it’s an easy sell given a history of domestic abuse and some compelling evidence. Naturally, the media and the public hang him in the court of public opinion, and the outcome of his actual legal trial seems like a foregone conclusion.
However, Loulwa, a former journalist and human rights activist, takes his case, believing – rightly, as there wouldn’t be a show here if not – that there’s more to the story. Amid corruption, media influence, social pressure, ingrained attitudes, and actual threats, she toils to uncover the truth and uncovers – all together now – much more than she bargained for.
Everyone loves a good courtroom drama, and Devil’s Advocate mostly delivers one. Eventually, anyway. In the lead-up to the big dramatic showdown, what unfurls across the 35-ish-minute episodes is essentially a character drama against the backdrop of Kuwaiti culture and institutional corruption.
This is perhaps not all that illuminating. A tragic past leading to a misguided present – the old “hurt people hurt people” chestnut – and corrupt officialdom aren’t exactly revelatory. Industries like the media and professional football have been criticized at great length in the past. Devil’s Advocate, for all its sharp writing and solid acting, never quite manages to overcome this feeling of retreading familiar ground.
The writing and acting help, though. The presentation of the investigation is compelling and engaging, seven episodes running scarcely over half an hour is, it turns out, a great length for a limited series, and the characters – some of them, anyway – are nuanced and complex enough that getting to know them feels like half the pleasure.
And then there’s the whole point of setting a show in Kuwait, which is to immerse it in the rich history and traditions of the setting, which lends Devil’s Advocate a quality that most legal thrillers just don’t have. Netflix once again excels in showcasing a wide range of international productions to a mainstream, global audience, and for that, it must once again be commended.
Is it without flaws? No, of course not. There’s the thematic familiarity mentioned above, some plot turns strain credibility, and some characters can’t help but slip into outright cliche. This aside, though, the usual pleasures of courtroom thrillers, including the big payoff, are all present and correct, and the cultural insight is undeniably valuable.