When I first embarked on the 10-episode journey of "The Crowded Room" on Apple TV Plus, I had no idea what to expect. But let me tell you, this psychological thriller left quite an impression. Starring the talented Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan, the series takes us back to 1979 New York City, where Danny's life takes an unexpected turn after a fateful shooting. Guiding us through this intricate tale is Amanda Seyfried as the curious interrogator, Rya Goodwin.
Now, let's start with the positives because there are plenty to highlight. What amazed me was that "The Crowded Room" didn't stop at Danny's backstory; it also unraveled Rya's intentions, allowing me to finally understand her motivations for taking on this captivating case. The sensitive issues touched upon throughout the series were handled with the utmost delicacy, leaving me teary-eyed and emotionally invested. The impact of Danny's enigmatic past was palpable, adding another layer of depth to not just his, but also Rya's character.
But let's address a few hiccups along the way. While the show is set in the late 70s, it strangely fails to capture the essence of that era. I longed for a more authentic atmosphere, one that would transport me back in time. It's disappointing when the setting feels disconnected from the story's time frame, dampening the overall experience.
Now, let's talk about the series' structure. The pattern of alternating between flashbacks and Rya's interrogations initially intrigued me, but it soon became apparent that the interrogation scenes often repeated what I had already seen. This repetition robbed the narrative of its momentum, leaving me craving fresh insights. The pacing suffered as well, with a slow start that suddenly shifted into overdrive in the latter part. A more balanced and consistent rhythm would have been greatly appreciated.
As much as I was engrossed in the story and performances, I couldn't help but notice missed opportunities in the execution. The direction and score, while decent, lacked the tension and impact that the story truly deserved. I yearned for a more palpable sense of unease, a feeling that would keep me on the edge of my seat. Additionally, the cinematography fell short, resorting to an overabundance of close-ups and generic cityscapes. The lackluster lighting and color grading choices further detracted from the visual allure.
Reflecting on my experience with "The Crowded Room," I can't help but feel a sense of missed potential. The story and acting alone were enough to captivate me, engrossing me to the point where I didn't even notice some of the show's other shortcomings. However, upon closer inspection, I realized that with stronger creative support, this series could have been an absolute masterpiece. It possessed all the elements necessary for greatness, but unfortunately, fell short in execution.
So, while "The Crowded Room" may not have reached its full potential, it remains a captivating journey worth taking. Tom Holland and Amanda Seyfried deliver exceptional performances, injecting life and depth into their characters. The story itself is a testament to the power of human experiences and the consequences of mysterious pasts. If you can look past the missed opportunities and appreciate the strengths of the series, you'll find yourself immersed in a tale that stays with you long after the credits roll.
Final Score- [6/10]
Reviewed by - Anjali Sharma
Follow @AnjaliS54769166 on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times
Note: All 10 episodes are screened for this review.
Premiere Date: June 9, 2023, on Apple TV+ with its first 3 episodes, while the rest will release weekly every Friday.
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