HINTERLAND SEASON 2

PrintE-mail Written by Fred McNamara

Stunning landscapes, slow plots and brooding characters return in Celtic noir crime drama Hinterland (Y Gwyll in its native tongue) for a second series, bursting with dark drama set against bare yet wondrous cinematography. Hinterland follows the trials and tribulations of a Welsh police force, led by DCI Tom Mathias (portrayed by Richard Harrington), who spends much of Series 2 cursed by tragic events in Series 1, affecting his ability to function as a policeman.

There you have an unfortunate aspect of Hinterland – a sense of unoriginality. How many cop shows do you have to sift through exactly to find a rough, masculine, hard-done-by officer who struggles to separate his private life from his day job? Beneath all the cliché character stereotypes, Harrington delivers a tight, well-crafted performance that just about manages to be engrossing, even if the remainder of the series is only hooky when it wants to be.

Indeed, what it actually wants to be is up for debate. There’s an undeniable cinematic grandeur to the show’s appearance, but it’s underpinned by the dry monotony of its plot and characters, which themselves have these issues masked by a finely-tuned precision in the execution that’s difficult not to admire.

There’s such a lovely balance in everything here – the stories, the characters, the direction, the pacing, it’s all presented beautifully, with not a shot out of place or emotional beat missed. However, that professionalism seems to come at a price of individuality. Hinterland feels content with being a homage to its Nordic cousins and perfectly happy in its own limitations. When each episode stretches to 90 minutes in length, going down such routes results in a failure to maintain interest. Such running times only serve to remind you how Hinterland is occasionally smothered by its own pedestrian nature.

Nevertheless, for every scene where DCI Mathias throws a tantrum over his ruined family, unfortunately pointing out how comfortable Hinterland is with cherry-picking the dullest elements in police dramas, there’s an insanely perfect shot of Wales that’s enveloping in a way Hinterland’s plots never quite are. That’s perhaps the show's biggest selling point – an ever-running theme of isolation that never loses steam. The landscape and the characters share a sense of detachment, loneliness, and bleakness that, when mixed with the cinematography, is most absorbing.

Hinterland still manages to be a rewarding watch. Its stately production values and top notch deliverance are quite satisfying to see unfold with each episode. It simply doesn’t have enough murder in its eyes to compliment the themes of isolation that run rampant, and ultimately is the noir crime drama equivalent of a cat without its claws.

HINTERLAND SEASON 2 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTORS: ED THOMAS, GARETH BRYN / SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: RICHARD HARRINGTON, MALI HARRIES, ALEX HARRIES, HANNAH DANIEL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW


 


Suggested Articles:
Also known, somewhat more appropriately, as The Man with The Severed Head, this 1973 French/Spanish
When a credits sequence presents its cast ‘in order of appearance’ and yet the final character y
A butcher (Titus Muizelaar) with a voracious sexual appetite works with an attractive young apprenti
Perhaps the reason the two Kojak telemovies didn’t take a UK DVD bow in 2012 when they, along with
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

CRIMSON 15 August 2017

PROJECT EDEN VOL. 1 13 August 2017

MEAT 10 August 2017

KOJAK: THE PRICE OF JUSTICE 10 August 2017

KOJAK: THE BELARUS FILE 10 August 2017

KUNG FU YOGA 09 August 2017

RAW 09 August 2017

FREE FIRE 07 August 2017

THE TAISHO TRILOGY 03 August 2017

CAGE 01 August 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner