Arts, Television, Review

Amazon’s ‘The Widow’ Suffers Loss of Momentum

Traversing the jungle and uncovering the truth behind an airplane crash sounds pretty cool, unless it’s done without emotion and creativity.

The new Amazon Prime Original The Widow was released last Friday and featured Kate Beckinsale as a woman determined to find the truth behind her husband’s disappearance.

The Widow follows American woman Georgia Wells (Beckinsale), whose husband Will (Matthew Le Nevez) was assumed dead after his airplane crashed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo three years earlier. Unable to get over her grief, Georgia catches a glimpse of a man who she believes to be Will on television during a live news coverage of a riot in the Congo and decides to travel to the country to find out the truth behind her husband’s disappearance.

Enlisting the help of others who had lost loved ones in the airplane crash, Georgia soon finds that the plane crash was not as it seemed—instead, they had a much greater conspiracy on their hands. Doggedly determined to find her husband, Georgia searches and snoops her way through Central Africa, unveiling secrets along the way that threaten both her and everyone around her.

The Widow is not a terrible show. The premise is intriguing enough, and the main mystery keeps audiences watching.

Where the show fails, however, is in its predictability. Although the overarching plot line—where is Will and why is he here—is interesting and captivates the attention of the audience, the micro events that lead up to the reveal are so clichéd that the show gets boring to watch. If the audience can predict exactly when and how a character is going to die (early in the season, Georgia’s friend goes into a car meant for her and dies in a car bomb explosion), then the screenwriting was lazy and the gags cheap. Such plot points only work when the audience is legitimately caught off guard.

The main storyline is also so trite that nothing that happens in the middle really matters—the audience could skip straight to the end of the season, watch the ending reveal, and be completely satisfied. In addition, the show is filled with several side plots of characters marginally related to the main plot that the audience really couldn’t care less about.

The characters are also unlikeable, as Georgia, in her determination to find out the truth, can come off as entitled and ridiculous. Although the audience knows that her husband probably isn’t dead (duh), the way she treats the people trying to help her shows that she believes her problems are at the forefront of everyone else’s, and the fact that she might have seen her husband on a newsreel takes precedence in her and everyone around her’s lives. In the case of the friend who died in the car bomb, only a brief scene between Georgia and his widow occurs, where Georgia promises to find his killer but does not seem emotional otherwise. The death becomes a line almost immediately, as Georgia often self-righteously proclaims that people have died for this cause (People have died for this, Georgia, because you came in and bothered everyone around you to help chase your husband).

Perhaps the most annoying aspect of the show is how it ends. From the start, Georgia had stirred complete chaos in the lives of many people in the hope that her husband was still alive. She drops it all not when her husband confessed to crimes, not when he was completely fine for three years and did not contact her because he thought she would move on, but at the moment she realized he moved on. All the sacrifices, the discoveries, seemed so trivial if what propels her to give up is the fact that he has a new life, rather than all the other deal breakers that could have stopped this entire operation from destroying the lives of several families.

For someone who likes mystery shows, The Widow has an entertaining enough premise to draw interest for a while. For those who like shows where characters act according to logic, rather than blind faith, however, the inconsistencies in The Widow might prove too infuriating to handle.

Featured Image by Amazon Prime

March 12, 2019

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