TV REVIEW: Unbelievable – Limited Series

In 2008 in Washington Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) is tied up and raped at knife point by a masked man. After this harrowing ordeal she is forced to relive the events over and over with various law enforcement officers whose focus is more on Marie’s troubled past than what she has experienced. It’s not long before the detectives start to question the legitimacy of Marie’s account which sends her life into freefall.

A few years later while investigating a rape in Golden, Colorado, Detective Karen Duvall (Merritt Weaver) stumbles across a startling similarities with a case under the jurisdiction of Detective Grace Rasmussen (Toni Collette) in Westminster, Colorado. After an initial clash of ways of working Duvall and Rasmussen decide to work together and realise that they are dealing with a serial rapist with a singular MO and a very intricate knowledge of how to avoid discovery.

Unlimited is based on a true story and is largely focused on the way law enforcement approaches sexual assaults and how victims are seen by the general public. Marie’s treatment at the hands of police, her friends and the people who are supposed to be caring for her her is absolutely deplorable but also totally believable. If you have ever wondered why women don’t report sexual assaults or been sceptical that there is a systemic problem with how sexual assaults are investigated you need to watch this series.

On the other side seeing how Duvall and Rasmussen treat victims and cases shows that it is possible to take a completely different approach to rapes and assaults. Their relentless pursuit of the truth in the face endless opposition is both admirable and inspiring.

Dever gives a performance that is extremely nuanced, I can imagine at great personal cost to her. Marie is someone who has been beaten down her whole life and everything in Dever’s demeanour from her movements to the way she speaks and dresses indicates this. Watching her suffer is so heartbreaking that her ultimate vindication had me punching the air.

The chemistry between the battle worn Rasmussen and the more idealist Duvall was also great and seeing them bounce off each other was a joy to watch. I loved how Weaver played Duvall as calm and soft spoken but at the same time so focused and tough. Collette on the other hand delivers us a character that appears to be as hard as nails but it’s soon evident that this is a defence mechanism to cope with the terrible things she has seen and he disappointments she has experienced.

Unbelievable is not an easy watch but it is an important one. The issues that are raised are ones that we should all be thinking and talking about and if one person watches it and thinks twice it will be worth the effort put into making it.

5/5

1 Comment

  1. I have read lots of good things about this, and I like Toni Collette too.
    One for me, for sure. (Eventually)
    Best wishes, Pete.

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