Rather than director Will Sharpe (“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain”, “Flowers (TV)”), making us spend an hour in a court room, going through everything we’ve already heard, he elects to do something much, much different.
We head out to the Wild West, Chris as a gunslinger, Susan his doting wife. But, just before they leave town on their waggon, Chris writes a letter to his step-mother confessing everything, mirroring the real-life phone call he made.
We flip between this Wild West setup and the black and white courtroom, occasionally the two overlap and sometimes we stick with one of the other.
For instance, we hear Chris giving his testimony and he is basically saying he wasn’t living his life, doing the things he wanted to do, it was all about Susan and what she wanted to do.
Susan gets upset listening to this and when it is her time to stand up and give testimony she is still upset. She talks quietly, not liking what she’s hearing.
To reflect Susan’s feelings Sharpe stages a shootout between the couple and the law. When Susan takes matters into her own hands, shooting down many of the law, she is then shot herself and Chris scarpers.
Ultimately, Chris and Susan were given 24 years in prison though still, to this day, maintain their innocence. Landscapers doesn’t really give you any reason to doubt they didn’t do it.
Overall, as a mini-series or whatever you want to call it, Landscapers is visually stunning and brilliantly performed. Colman, Thewlis and police boss Daniel Rigby (“Flowers (TV)”, “Watership Down (TV)”) are the stand-outs, though everyone is wonderful.
Visually is where I feel Landscapers shines the best, Will Sharpe’s direction is simply stunning. It’s so different, yet not so different that it feels jarring or out of place.
My only concern is that this is based on the true story of two people being murdered and how that comes across. At times it can feel a little light-hearted given the subject matter, though the tone is never comical or necessarily disrespectful, it’s all too easy to forget that two people were actually murdered.
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7th December 2021
THE QUICK SELL
We review the final episode of Landscapers and wrap up the mini-series as a whole as we head to the courtroom to learn the fate of our couple.
TV / STREAMING PLATFORM