I happened to watch the film Room and start watching the BBC 3 drama series Thirteen on the same day and the similarity of the topic they dealt with inevitably struck me. Both stories tell of young women coming back from hell. The hell of being abducted and taken captives by manipulating, devious bastards.
In both stories the focus is on the psychological aspect of being back to an ordinary life, the stress and the distress of being unable to fit or cope any longer. In both cases viewers delve into the protagonists' traumatic homecoming learning how difficult it is to victims to go back to normality. Very little or nothing is actually revealed of the horrors of their respective periods of captivity as victims of sexual abuse so, don't expect a claustrophobic, haunting experience while watching, if you decide to. It could be much more an occasion to see our ordinary lives in a boundless world and in total control with different eyes.
Someone asked me, "Isn't a story like this extremely depressing?" . No, definitely not, is my answer. It had a surprisingly uplifting effect on me. You'll be moved, touched, provoked but not depressed, trust me.
Just a question, before moving on and tell you about Thirteen: Brie Larson deserved her Oscar as lead actress in a movie picture, but what about that little wonder, Jacob Tremblay? He is astonishingly good, unbelievable!
The story - Ivy Moxam (Jodie Comer) escapes from the cellar which has been her prison for the last 13 years. After she makes a desperate 999 call from a phone box, Ivy is picked up by the police and taken to be interviewed.
With no precedent to follow, DI Elliott Carne (Richard Rankin) and DS Lisa Merchant (Valene Kane) question Ivy to see if she is who she claims to be while they wait for official DNA confirmation. But before they can confirm her identity, news of her escape is leaked and the police rush to contact the Moxam family before they hear it from the press.
When the family is reunited, younger sister Emma is the only person with doubts; mother Christina and estranged father Angus need no proof that Ivy is their daughter.
The police finally locate the house in which Ivy was held captive, but find her kidnapper long gone. Combing the house for clues, Merchant and Carne discover evidence that contradicts Ivy's story - and Merchant starts to question whether or not she's telling the truth.
I started watching it out of curiosity (let's say out of ... Richard Rankin whom I had appreciated in Crimson Field and am looking forward to seeing in Outlander) and immediately thought it was good drama to promote the new adventure online of BBC3. At first I actually didn't expect to like it so much. Now, only one episode left to the end, I really think this is one of the best series I've seen in the last months. I've loved several BBC present - day drama series this year, which is a real record for a costume drama freak like me! Let's see ... Happy Valley, Doctor Foster, The Fall, London Spy, The Night Manager and now Thirteen!
Good. now, what's special in it? First of all the protagonist. Ivy Moxam is a mystery herself. You can't be sure of anything when it comes to her. A moment you think she's a victim, the next you start fearing she may be wicked and pretending to be the girl disappeared 13 years before. Jodie Comer plays her as haunted and as haunting as possible: from naive and tender to aggressive and feral So you are there puzzled and on the edge of your seat trying to guess what is passing inside her troubled mind.
Then you are given introspection into all the characters in the story, revealed about Ivy's frightening life as a prisoner as well as given glimpses of her previous reality as an ordinary teenager, you're kept on the edge of your seat with thrilling suspenseful moments and macabre discoveries, gifted with some sexual tension between the leads complicated by jealousy and inappropriate attractions. In a few words, a successful blend of good characters, good performers, good scripts and several other tasty ingredients you need to make brilliant drama.
I really can't wait for this Sunday's final episode. It promises to be extremely tense, but I'm so ready! Ivy is going to meet her captor again ... OMG.