REVIEW: The Show (2020)

dir. Mitch Jenkins

Imagine if David Lynch had directed Jonathan Creek, but except instead of a floppy haired Alan Davies it’s a floppy haired Tom Burke attempting to solve an almost-out-of-this-world mystery, and you’re half way to this beguiling curio.

The Show follows hired hitman Fletcher (Burke) as he investigates a case in an unusual Northampton town, helped along by some extraordinarily bizarre locals. As Fletcher spirals deeper into the underbelly of the community, the line between reality and dream begins to blur. 

The uncanny brainchild of comic book legend Alan Moore (V for Vendetta; Watchmen) and photographer-turned-director Mitch Jenkins, the influence of the comic book universe is apparent from the get go. Between film-noir child detectives, voodoo practitioners and occultist magicians (Alan Moore making a colourful appearance) this world is fantastical, akin to walking through a big top circus. Fletcher is instantly likeable as our audience-proxy and acts as a grounding force in an otherwise unconventional universe, with flights of fancy that soar through reality and dreams. 

Despite a lengthy running time of nearly two hours, it feels as if the narration barely peels back the first layer of a much deeper story.  And whilst the main character arc and development is satisfying, due to the amount of side personalities that deserve their own storyline, the narrative might have been more suited being developed into a television series, allowing audiences to become fully immersed in Moore’s carnival-esque landscape.

With its unique yet endearing tale of the unexpected – and a Sin City spirit set against the backdrop of urban England – The Show’s marriage of film noir and surrealist visuals will leave viewers wanting more of this whimsical and magical ride. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ygraine Hackett-Cantabrana

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