'Behind Her Eyes' should be in front of yours - Review

Michael Duckworth explores the latest Netflix thriller Behind Her Eyes

Michael Duckworth
16th March 2021
Credit: IMDb
Behind Her Eyes puts the psychological in psychological thriller. This mind-bending tale of dreams, affairs, and paranoia has shot up Netflix’s most-watched list since its release in mid-February and it's easy to see why.
Simona Brown in Behind Her Eyes, Credit: IMDb

This whirlwind mystery stars Simona Brown as receptionist and single mother Louise who gets between Eve Hewson and Tom Bateman as the rich and failing couple Adele and David. The slow, tense buildup ends with a fantastic flourish, ending this suspenseful drama with a supernatural twist. What makes this drama stand out amongst the crowd is not only its devastatingly wicked twists but also its deep interpersonal drama that pulls on the heartstrings while keeping you guessing about the real nature of the characters you thought you knew.

A very run-of-the-mill romantic drama takes a strange turn

The series begins with a seemingly innocuous chance encounter in a bar in London between Louise and David, sparks fly between them until they kiss in the street, and David panics and leaves. The next day Louise arrives at work only to find out that David is her new boss… and he’s married. Then another “chance” encounter with David’s wife, Adele, leads to a blossoming friendship between them, and thus Louise becomes entwined in the cobwebs of their disastrous marriage. What starts out as a very run-of-the-mill romantic drama takes a strange turn and suddenly no one is as innocent as they seem.

Eve Hewson in Behind Her Eyes, Credit: IMDb

In only 6, one-hour-long episodes, Behind Her Eyes is perfect binge material, it keeps you guessing as it bounces gleefully from genre to genre, as soon as you think you know where the story is headed, another secret is revealed and suddenly you view the series in a whole new light. The real stand-out performance here has to be the sinister-cum-sympathetic Adele portrayed by the phenomenal Eve Hewson (who you may recognize from the BBC mini-series The Luminaries).  Hewson's contrast in the portrayal of the younger, naive, and cheerful Adele to her grown-up self, wherein that cheerful persona has started to crack, is a testament to the subtleties of Hewson's performance. She excellently balances the lighter and darker sides of her character to elevate the suspense of the overall show. She makes you want to believe in her, and thus the strange narrative elements (like befriending the wife of the man you’re sleeping with) feel completely natural.

The show is a rollercoaster of twist and turns

I have tried to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible for a reason, the show is something to be experienced first hand, the show is a rollercoaster of twists and turns and so going into it totally blind is something I strongly recommend. Paying attention to the small details actually pays off in the end as almost all the mysteries can be worked out prior to their reveal: colour, shot composition and small suspicious dialogue choices leave a trail of clues that make you kick yourself for not seeing it earlier, which for me is essential for a successful mystery show.

Behind Her Eyes is not one you want to miss, by the end it will leave your mind buzzing and have you doubting everything around you, so be prepared.

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