ONLINE SHORT REVIEW: INNER WORKINGS / DIRECTOR: PETER GREENALL, RAPHAEL SHERIDAN / SCREENPLAY: PETER GREENALL, RAPHAEL SHERIDAN / STARRING: PETER GREENALL, CLAIRE LACEY, SIOBHAN LOUISE O’CASEY, JULIE GILBY, DAPHNE SHERMAN, FRANK SCOTT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
A dark comedy web series, with a heavy subject matter, Peter Greenall (writer, director and lead character) delves into religious ideologies and the logic of fear. With a Cinéma Vérité style, imitating a documentary we follow the life of Dr. Thomas Wood-Harpon (Greenall), a general practitioner with a superiority complex. Intimidating and aggressive, Dr. Wood-Harpon is a religious fanatic who deems others to lack a certain confidence, which he feels he is able to manipulate.
Without holding back, Greenall presents the consequences of letting fear take over your decision making. Issues of religious rights, sex and gender are fraught with negative connotations, so some may deem this offensive. It is an acquired humour; basically, it comes from the ridiculousness of Dr. Wood-Harpon's philosophy, a character who takes his belief to extremities showing how this has a direct effect on the people around him.
The style of the show allows us to delve into the central character’s mind in a way that makes sense, allowing his ego to boast and educate his belief to the masses. Although the pace seems slightly off, the little reactions the camera gets from side characters can be very amusing. It's easy to dislike the main character as you are supposed to, but some of his dialogue seems contradicting.
As an outrageous comedy, Inner Workings didn't bring as much laughter as expected. With such a loathsome character, it would be better balanced and possibly more comical to have shown more reactions from other characters (or even the crew). However, Greenall plays the narcissistic doctor very well and the show does have a playful concept you may find intriguing. It definitely has potential if they take this character's story further.