Grace Fraser a successful therapist thought her life was rather perfect with her doctor husband Jonathan and son Noah who attends a private school in New York City. But one night is about to change everything after a young woman named Elena Alves is brutally murdered.
Number of Episodes: 6
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***
Spanning over six episodes this miniseries from HBO sets out to keep viewers guessing and wondering who the murderer was. With Jonathan going missing the following morning when the murder of this woman who was new to the group in school and had just came into Grace’s life. Everything she did was drawn towards her and some very uneasy scenes happened before her death.
In each episode we learn a little bit more and this then causes a new suspect to look more than probably. Even though Jonathan was arrested and charged with the murder everything pushes us towards him being innocent. We quite frankly believe him that he indeed loved Elena who he was having an affair with. Despite the fact that he had even lost his job over her and failed to tell Grace about this at all. We don’t want to believe it was him either, he seemed like the nicest of men and a good father to Henry.
We suspect every single character at some point as it appears they could have had a motive as well. This makes us think about everything and doubt each individual. Something that was rather powerful with the drama was the ability to keep us guessing while actually we already knew the answer. No one wanted that to be the answer though did they? Showing just how easy it is for some people to lie and even convince themselves that it was not them and someone else.
Grace is supported by her rich father Franklin Reinhardt who doesn’t really seem to like his son in law at all. I thought this relationship was rather underrated in terms of how much he empowered his daughter and did not want her to be weak about anything at all. Staying strong for Henry if nothing else. Sylvia Steineitz is a lawyer and a close family friend, isn’t she someone we pick as a main suspect as she doesn’t have the biggest role but pops up every now and then.
Again that highlights just how clever the little cues were towards drawing us in to another character and giving them a motive and reason for the killing. Not many series in this fashion can get that right. Although something that is mind blowing for The Undoing is the outstanding calibre of cast that was put together.
Elena Alves is a character that we don’t even know very much about, so we are put in the same mould as Grace. I guess that is why we feel sorry for her and want everything to work out for her, even though it is clear either way that her life had been torn apart finding out Jonathan was a cheat and liar. Raising one of the worst questions possible, do we really know the people who we claim to love and those who claim to love us back.
You cannot go wrong with Nicole Kidman and she has pretty much proven that she can do all mediums of acting on stage, film and more recently in TV. She is engaging throughout and we cannot help but sympathise with her for not fully seeing her husband and his issues. This moves me nicely to talk or even gush about Hugh Grant, who’s career has picked up in a very different manner to his previous romantic comedy leading man. This is an incredible performance and he really pushes the boundaries with the emotions shown throughout.
If you are going to cast a child actor in a role you really cannot go wrong with Noah Jupe, who is going from strength to strength between each role and I was once again impressed with this young man’s ability on screen. Donald Sutherland is so effortless as Franklin and that is such a joy, I really was looking forward to each time he would appear on screen!
The ultimate scene stealer and most incredible performance, I mean I need you to realise just how high quality the acting is from the whole cast but Noma Dumezweni. She was utterly breathtaking as lawyer Hayley Fitzgerald and a true joy to watch. Given some outstanding moments and absolutely nailed each and every scene she was in. One of the closing scenes in the courtroom was a particular favourite of mine.
While I know the ending will not be for everyone and people will complain, I don’t feel that way. I actually thought it was rather bold considering everything that we witnessed unfold. We were given plenty of reasons to suspect so many characters when in reality they actually told us in the beginning and we decided we did not and could not believe that.