Friday, January 20, 2017
The BBC-by-way-of-Netflix series, that is. It's far from perfect. But you'll forgive all the flaws because, as the schizophrenic detective River, Stellan Skarsgård gives one of the greatest character portrayals in TV history. His voice is so lazily mellifluous, I'd be happy just to hear him read the phone book (or Wikipedia). But he also pours every inch of his lanky, stiffly shambling body into the role– it is a complete performance. He gets some excellent support, especially from Nicola Walker, as his main hallucination, and Adeel Akhtar, as his stoical, angelic partner... and the city of London. Overplotted, melodramatic at times, River pushes some heavy themes: lunacy, and loss. But mostly it is about love. And Skarsgård will convince you that love is all that really matters.