Crossfire

Crossfire (First Look) – Keeley Hawes stars in a gripping new BBC One thriller

FILM AND TV

Crossfire premieres on BBC One on Tuesday 20th September at 9pm – the series will be available in full on BBC iPlayer straight after. 


What would you do if you were suddenly thrown into a fight for your life? That’s the central conceit for writer Louise Doughty’s second foray into television, Crossfire, starring Keeley Hawes as a woman confronted by gunmen who invade her holiday resort. The premise of instantaneous decision-making with one’s family is reminiscent of Ruben Ostlund’s Force Majeure, but here the murky morality and terror take centre stage. 

Hawes’ steely and intricate Jo is on holiday in the Canary Islands with her considerably frosty husband Jason (Lee Ingleby) and children. They are joined by family friends Miriam and Ben (Josette Simon & Daniel Ryan) and ‘Mr. and Mrs Perfect’ Abhi & Chinar (Anneika Rose & Vikash Bhai). But their holiday is turned upside down when shooters invade the hotel. While the cataclysmic invasion of the shooters is played out in real-time, Crossfire makes it evident that the trauma of this group began long ago.


READ MORE: WRECK (FIRST LOOK) BBC THREE


Flashing back and forth between the holiday and what led to it, Doughty presents Jo as a knotty individual, made restless by her own life. As we learn more about Jo, it’s clear her life has pushed her into dubious entanglements with others which sets the stage for internal violent confrontations amidst the collective danger lurking in the hotel. While these flashbacks enable a deeper look at each of our couples, the precise rhythm of Crossfire’s editing threatens to sever the razor-sharp tension.

Jo is undoubtedly one of Hawes’ most nuanced characters to date, continually challenging viewers to root for her as revelations about her past come to life in the present. Unlike many of Hawes’ previous roles, which have centred on relatively passive characters, Crossfire’s narrative allows her to embrace a woman wholly different from those she has previously played. 

Crossfire separates itself from the typical action thriller in several ways, from its mid-40s female protagonist to its female-led development both in front of and behind the camera through writer Louise Doughty, director Tessa Hoffe and Hawes as executive producer. All these aspects are critical to Crossfire, as Jo, Abhi, and Miriam tackle different perspectives of the hotel shooting, from the headstrong hero to the medical saviour.


READ MORE: EDGAR WRIGHT TEAMS UP WITH BBC MAESTRO


Many of the players in Crossfire are fluid in construct, our perception and stance fluctuating as we learn more about their relationships. Here Doughty tackles the contradiction between the public-facing image of our couples and the truth of their private moments together. Throughout Crossfire’s debut episode, your allegiances flip-flop as you are slowly given an additional piece of this complex human jigsaw. Doughty focuses on the silent, destructive power our decisions can have and the ripple effects of these through intimate friendship groups. The thriller of Crossfire also seeks to look beyond the act of terror at its core, giving us a fractal view of who these people are before, during, and after this collective trauma. 

While Crossfire’s flashback and forward editing can threaten to disrupt the very tension it creates, this new BBC One drama nonetheless grips you, in no small part, due to Keeley Hawes’ unyielding-yet-sensitive Jo. 


READ MORE: AIDS – THE UNHEARD TAPES

  • STAR RATING
3

Summary

While Crossfire’s flashback and forward editing can threaten to disrupt the very tension it creates, this new BBC One drama nonetheless grips you, in no small part, due to Keeley Hawes’ unyielding-yet-sensitive Jo.

error: Content is protected !!