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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Marriage (BBC)

Really, I would have liked to have read a review about this from a journalist with the proper credentials. Seemingly lacking in this department, it would fall to me as the most qualified person I know to pass comment. Having been in a similar position for a couple of decades, (though no longer, admittedly) this does indeed strike chords and alarm bells all over the place.

The attention to detail of this couple, married for 27 years is sometimes astonishing - "can you not breathe in my face, please" - being a particular highlight. It is considered enough to make you think about your own relationship and stack that up against what passes for normal here.

Whether this is indicative of your average multi-decade relationship is still up for debate and whilst almost completely predictable in its mundanity, I doubt whether this is the result of extensive research, more observation. From the writer of Him & Her, and Mum, Stefan Golaszweski, and starring the always reliable Sean Bean and Nicola Walker, what we're presented with here is a platitude-riddled snapshot of dullness. Each of these two characters show signs of complicit settlement, going through the everyday without real thought of what is possible in a world of opportunities that they have already cast aside as beyond them.

Adventure is notoriously absent, even when it is potentially offered. The performances are excellent, though the script mostly doesn't do anyone justice, except to serve as a red flag for those living through the same situation. As a cautionary tale, it never becomes exciting enough to really warrant serious note. If the intention was to highlight the lack of highlights that a relationship of such duration must endure, then it does this very well.

Every marriage is different of course, and that's what makes this effort so occasionally infuriating. Sometimes the project hits you, smack in the face and right on the money, but more often it skirts around the usual topics that fail to raise so much as an eyebrow. Perhaps it is just like a long marriage then, largely perambulatory with intermittent bumps, either of joy or pain.


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