‘The Girl Before’ Review: The Mystery of HBO’s Horror Max Repetition

“The Girl Before” doesn’t look like an ordinary suspense story. That is its strength.

There’s a sense of familiarity in Lisa Brühlmann’s adaptation of “JP Delaney’s”The girl first. ‘ Maybe that feeling comes from being deeply inspired by Hitchcock’s features, especially ‘Vertigo’. Or maybe it’s how the story weaves between two separate women who have more in common than they realize. Brühlmann himself worked on outlandish tales of dueling women like “Killing Eve”, and while this HBO Max the series never broke into that frenzied territory, it showed the “The Girl Before” quadrants reaching. It makes for a complex and emotionally engaging four-part series.

Like Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) said upon entering the minimalist house designed by the talented architect Edward Monkford (David Oyelowo), “Feels like waiting for someone.” The house itself has everything: below-market rent, a butler system that can make Siri blush, and a list of rules that include not bringing any personal items. Jane is chosen by Edward to move into the house, and while there she discovers the house comes with a history, including the recent death of a young woman named Emma (Jessica Plummer). The two women not only have striking similarities, but also the traumas of the past that can affect them.

The air of omens is immediate, or it may be because any time someone offers a cheap home in the movies or television, the correct answer is to run away. The series interweaves a scene where Jane and Emma, ​​along with Emma’s boyfriend, Simon (Ben Hardy) see One Folgate Street for the first time. Jane and Emma both see the house as a means of starting over: Jane after the loss of a child and Emma as a result of her apartment being burglarized. There’s a jarring disconnect that viewers have to get used to because it’s not immediately clear where the past and present are. Emma and Jane’s scenes start off as separate scenes, one after the other, only to eventually become interconnected in such a way that the connection between where Emma ends up and Jane begins to blur.

Mbatha-Raw has always been a dynamic presence on screen and as Jane she delivers a fine and layered performance of a woman looking for answers. She tells Edward that she tries to live in the house with integrity, but this is clearly just a mask, a stiff upper lip to avoid falling into the pain that has isolated her. The loss of her daughter left Jane constantly wondering if she had done something wrong. It’s a sentiment shared by Emma, ​​who, after trauma, still believes she could have avoided anything if she acted differently.

David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

“Former Girl”


You’d believe the central story of the four-episode series would involve Edward’s house or past, and while those are present, they’re not what keeps audiences invested. That honor goes to Mbatha-Raw and Plummer, who have tapped into the depths of feminist history to advance the story of the ways women are often blamed and forced to account for every decision, good and bad. bad, they used to give out. Plummer is particularly engaging because much of her plot deals with rape culture and how women, especially Black women, are ignored by the system if they’re not deemed helpful.

Every woman has her moments to shine, but Plummer’s arc is so heartbreaking that you can’t help but be as drawn to it as Jane. Plummer is an open book, her face embodying every sense of longing, fear, and frustration Emma experiences throughout the four volumes of the series. She’s cheerful and cheerful, but as the series goes on, it’s easy to see the cracks are always there. Her relationship with Simon looks cute on the surface, but in hindsight, it’s clear where problems can arise. As Emma’s world grew more closed from witnessing the anguish on Plummer’s face, it became uncomfortable for the truth of it.

Brühlmann also talks about control, using Emma’s downfall and inner mystery to examine how men often force women to leave their faces bare. David Oyelowo feels like the weakest link in the series, if only because he has the least screentime. He is a quiet enigma who designed the house for his wife and children to live in but of course, a tragedy changes his plans. Oyelowo is charming in his coolness, outspoken in what he wants from Jane and Emma, ​​but doesn’t necessarily reciprocate them much. He’s a man whose crying woman makes him say, “Crying is good, it has something to do with the chemistry in tears.”

He’s Jimmy Stewart in this Hitchcockian level thriller, starting a relationship with both Jane and Emma. The repeated feeling that Jane immediately spotted the suspect and only aroused the desire to check was not necessarily Edward, but specifically Emma. In the script, Jane is not particularly interested in learning about Edward’s history (although she is for the plot), but she feels the need to speak on Emma’s behalf. The two women could be seen by Edward as the same woman, providing him with the same things, but Jane wanted to break the circle and illustrate that each woman should have gotten more out of him. me, from society, from the world.

“The Girl Before” is nothing like a regular mystery and that is its strength. It feels like a staged performance, with the character mostly being brought down One Folgate Street. Mbatha-Raw and Plummer are powers in a story that sticks with you because it’s part reality.

Grade B

“The Girl Before” premieres Thursday, February 10 on HBO Max.

Registration: Stay up to date with the latest movies and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletter here.

https://www.indiewire.com/2022/02/the-girl-before-review-hbo-max-thriller-1234692173/ ‘The Girl Before’ Review: The Mystery of HBO’s Horror Max Repetition

Olly Dawes

24ssports is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@24ssports.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button