What a performance! Take a bow, Kaitlyn Dever.
I don’t know if I should call Unbelievable a fantastic show, given the fact that it is based on a true story. As I watch the show and fall in love with the way it was narrated and the way cast and crew handled such a sensitive topic, I only pray to God that no woman goes through spine-chilling, horrendous crime like rape.
To be very honest, I did not watch Delhi Crime because it was based on rape and I have always been of the opinion that true stories based on crime like rape should not be dramatized. Unbelievable changed my perception of stories based on true incidents. There was no glamorization or exaggeration. Though the incidents are disturbing, it is filmed in a way that it makes you think about the way society treats or looks at women (even if she is the victim), without making you lose your mind. It is safe to say that even sensitive people can go ahead and watch Unbelievable.
Coming back to the performances, Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler was excellent. Her portrayal of Marie Adler was so real that you start feeling protective towards her, even though you know she is just playing the character and is not going through the trauma for real. There are moments where you actually feel like, ‘someone please give her a hug. Don’t put the kid through this trauma. Make her feel safe. Make her feel wanted.’ It looks like the actress has actually lived the life of isolation – she has played it so convincingly.
Though the character was clearly mentally drained and disturbed, it needed to be handled with care and maturity which this 22-year old undoubtedly had. Hats off to her.
A special mention to Danielle Macdonald, the girl who played the role of Amber Stevenson. Her character’s journey was heart-wrenching. Though she is introduced to us as another rape victim, she has beautifully narrated, or should I say, “emoted” the character’s story – how a rape holds the power to mess up even the strongest of minds and lives. If she would have failed to emote every minute emotion with such intensity, we would have never been able to ‘understand’ how this crime scars women for life. Now, why am I saying ‘understand?’ Don’t we already know this?
No, the society still doesn’t know how rape ends a woman’s life even when she looks hale and hearty, and alive. This is exactly what this series talks about. I loved the chit chat scenes between the two lady cops. These scenes were subtle but passed on powerful messages. I loved the way women empowered another woman in this show. Speaking of the cops, I cannot not mention Merritt Wever, the lady who played Detective Karen Duvall. From the moment this character is introduced, you know that something is bothering her. She looked disturbed as if carrying some emotional baggage. Now, looking gloom from the moments you appear on the screen and without uttering a single word letting your audience that this character is fighting a battle with herself without your audience thinking for a moment, ‘Why the hell is she so uninterested? For God’s sake lady, you are handling a rape case. Show us some aggression.’ On the contrary, you find yourself wondering, ‘if she is doing alright.’ That’s how wonderfully she has portrayed Detective Karen Duvall.
In short, Unbelievable is a must-watch. Having said that, at one point, I did think that a few episodes were stretched for no reason. If cut short, there would not have been a single moment where you feel like fast-forwarding the show. But that’s my personal opinion. You might not feel that way, so go and watch Unbelievable now.
Where to Watch? Netflix