May 28, 2024

The Crowded Room Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

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The Crowded Room Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online

Well, here’s a bit of a pickle and no mistake. The makers of The Crowded Room have urged reviewers of this new drama not to give away “pivotal aspects of the storyline”, including A, B, or that C is a D. I certainly cannot tell you whether Es are or are not Fs.

There are two major problems here. One is that not only does that amount to quite a lot of plot, but in The Crowded Room they are not the isolated moments that the phrase “pivotal points” suggests. Rather, they are matters that suffuse the whole telling of the tale of Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland), whose part in a shooting at the Rockefeller Center in the 1970s is gradually uncovered during a series of interviews with a gently persistent interrogator, Prof Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried).

The second problem is that I don’t know how this request for secrecy squares with the fact that the opening credit (which references the true crime book on which the series is based) will let the cat out of the bag for any remotely astute viewer. It is not necessary to have read the book – the title alone should do it. The producers must have been spitting feathers.

So let us see what I can tell you about The Crowded Room while telling you as little as possible. Danny comes from an unhappy home, with a stepfather, Marlin (Will Chase) who is making his life and his mother’s (Emmy Rossum) an increasingly violent misery. We meet him in the middle of the drama’s inciting incident, levelling a gun – seemingly due to the instigation of a girl called Ariana (Sasha Lane) – at a man in the Center, but failing to shoot him. Ariana grabs the gun as the man runs and succeeds in injuring but not killing him. Rya questions him about both the shooting and where the now missing Ariana might have gone, while detectives wonder – for as yet unspecified reasons – about whether they may have just arrested a serial killer.

Under Rya’s interrogation, Danny fills in some of his backstory. How he got to know Ariana when her astonishingly tough Israeli landlord Yitzak (Lior Raz) saved him from being beaten up by kids from school outside his house and Danny ended up moving in as another lodger. How he and his two best friends, mercurial Jonny (Levon Hawke) and jock Mike (Sam Vartholomeos) are involved with pot dealing at school. How he has an on-off thing with a beautiful blond student called Isabel (Emma Laird) who has now gone off to college, as he might have done had life gone better for him.

Interspersed with his answers are flashbacks to scenes that undercut what he is saying and suggest a darker narrative at work. Even without them, we have the sense that something – lots of things – are … off. Why is this unassuming lad suspected of multiple heinous crimes? Why is he being interviewed by a professor? Why do things keep not adding up for her when they do for him and – so far – for us? Why does a slight feeling of unreality persist even through the most naturalistic of scenes?

This diffuse sense of unease and confusion is well done. But it goes on for a long, long time. The Crowded Room is a 10-episode series and the evasiveness, hints – a missing twin brother, abuse of various kind, hidden potential for violence – and drip-feeding of information start to seem wilfully long before the true unravelling of the mystery.

I’m not sure whether working out early what is going on would take away from or add to the enjoyment – there is always pleasure to be had in seeing how this or that is being evoked or the unsuspecting viewer manipulated; without the mystery, I am not sure the narrative itself, so thinly spread, is enough to hold the attention. While this kind of part is always – for obvious reasons, though I can’t mention them because A-F – catnip to actors, and I would imagine especially so for one who has been strapped into the mighty Marvel machine for as long as Holland has, I’m not sure he quite makes the necessary leap. An actor needs to hold the audience’s attention even as an Everyman figure and – no thanks to an unscintillating script – Holland is too quiet a presence to compel. Seyfried puts in a fine performance, but it feels like a bland comedown from her last outing as that walking bundle of contradictions Elizabeth Holmes in The Dropout. That said, I haven’t watched the back half of the series, so perhaps things tighten and liven up there. I hope so.

The Crowded Room Review 2023 Tv Show Series Cast Crew Online