BFI #LFF 2018: THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL Review

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL

Tense, thrilling and thought-provoking, THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is a classic John le Carré tale of an everyday person being sucked into the shadowy world of espionage

Park Chan-wook’s stylistic mastery meets John le Carré’s espionage twists in THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL, a thrilling new TV series from the makers of THE NIGHT MANAGER.

When Charlie (Florence Pugh), a brilliant and beautiful young English actress, finds herself drawn to a mysterious stranger on a Greek beach (Alexander Skarsgård), her sense of adventure dares her to follow him to Athens. It isn’t long however before Charlie soon realises her holiday romance is actually an Israeli intelligence officer and his intentions are far from romantic. Recruited by Kurtz (Michael Shannon), the leader of an Israeli counter-terrorism unit, Charlies finds herself playing the ultimate acting role when she is plunged into a deceptive and delicate trap set to ensnare an elusive Palestinian terrorist.

Tense, thrilling and thought-provoking, THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is a classic le Carré tale of an everyday person being sucked into the shadowy world of espionage. With his daring framing and elegant use of colour, Park’s dark sense of humour is the perfect match for this sophisticated story, the director collaborating with production designer Maria Djurkovic (TINKER, TAILOR, SOLIDER, SPY) to create a stylish world of impeccable 1970s detail.

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL

Once again, there is an excellent cast here, notably Florence Pugh as the sharp, sexy and wickedly intelligent Charlie who is lured into “the theatre of the real”. Alexander Skarsgård is equally fascinating as the mysterious secret agent Becker whom Charlie gradually falls in love with, while Oscar-nominated actor Michael Shannon is strong as Israeli spymaster Kurz.

Yet, unlike THE NIGHT MANAGER, THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is a satisfying slow burn, the recruitment and training of Charlie taking up the first two episodes of this six part series. This is also an old-school spy drama so expect hidden rooms, false identities and secret messages to feature here. It’s all rather dramatic but highly entertaining, each episode closing on a cliff hanger.

(4 / 5)

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL screens at the BFI London Film Festival on 14 October 2018.

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1