20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Killer Drama,
This review is from: Fallen Angel: The Making Of A Murderer [DVD]  (DVD)
While I'd be mightily surprised if anyone were to watch this three-part 'making of a murderer' study drama all in one sitting. "Fallen Angel" is a stretch in it's four-hour-plus entirety, and is undoubtedly easier viewing if you were to view each part of the thrilling-if-slow killer study separately. That being said, the ITV drama remains brilliant in its entirety and is one to snap up if you're a fan of such TV murder dramas.
The basic plot is about two long-time friends trying to piece together why the daughter of one of them, David Byfield (Charles Dance), grew up to become a cold-blooded child murderer. The three-part drama starts at "the end" and details the final days of the murderer Rosemary (Emilia Fox, with an excellent performance) when he she kidnaps and holds captive a young girl (Jade Sharif, who played Rebecca in Eastenders until February) with the assistant of the man she shares a house with. The second installment is Rosemary's father's recollection of events that took place when she was a teenager, including the decapitation of a cat and an obsession with a corrupt priest and his journals. Finally it rounds of with Rosemary's father's friend recalling suspicious events even earlier in Rosemary's life that she believes may have set her on the path to becoming what she was as an adult.
Not conforming to the usual pattern of murderer dramas, this is a three-parter that steers clear of police investigation and prefers to focus on those who know her best unravelling the reasons behind her crimes. It's a refreshing, excellent killer drama.
Though the detriment in the first part of the story is the young actress Jade Sharif (who simply cannot act), the vast majority of the performances in this creepy trio of films are very good. Emilia Fox is excellent as the creepy, cold child killer and the young actors on show in the flashbacks of Part One and Two all deliver pretty fine performances as well. Charles Dance also shines. As does the director David Drury, who has put to film an excellent psychological study that reverts from the usual stereotypes -- thankfully.
Yes, "Fallen Angel" is a stretch. Some people are sure to find its slow-paced depiction of one woman's evil slightly tedious given its running length. However, if you don't mind lengthy crime dramas of this variety than you're likely to enjoy this fascinating drama. I found it to be excellent, creepy and captivating. Excellent viewing.