the girl before
starring: jessica plummer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, ben hardy, and David Oyelowo
REVIEWER: lyall carter
A woman falls for an architect and gets an eerie premonition about his house, when she finds out that another woman died there.
Want something that you can binge-watch in one weekend? Then The Girl Before is the show for you. With superbly grounded, terrific performances from the central trio and a taunt, thrilling mystery, The Girl Before draws you into its tale and won’t let you go until you’ve watched every single episode.
Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by Edward (David Oyelowo), an enigmatic architect. There’s just one catch: the occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor, Emma (Jessica Plummer), she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before.
At just four episodes long, The Girl Before quickly ratchets up the tension, drawing you into the mystery of Emma, Edward and the house at the center of it all as Jane seeks out the truth behind the girl before. The narrative is split between flashbacks of Emma’s story and Jane’s search to solve the mystery that lies at the very heart of 1 Forgate Street as she digs deeper into Emma’s past.
The minimalist house is essentially the fourth central character of The Girl Before and through its high tech functions almost seems to live and breath and have a will of its own. The modern architecture and artificial intelligent functionality of the house is perfectly contrasted against the more warm, traditional architecture of the London setting of the series.
The Girl Before deals with some pretty confronting, tough subjects at times and, without giving too much away, does so in a way that gives the victims agency and some sort of justice.
The trio of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessica Plummer, and David Oyelowo all give stellar performances, bringing a real humanity to their complex and flawed characters. While Mbatha-Raw and Oyelowo have years of tremendous, dramatic performances in film and television under their belt, Plummer is a relative newcomer. Her superb performance, more than holding her own with her two more experienced co-stars, aptly shows that she is one to watch.
With superbly grounded, terrific performances from the central trio and a taunt, thrilling mystery, The Girl Before draws you into its tale and won’t let you go until you’ve watched every single episode.