‘Defend Jacob’ is a new Apple TV + miniseries in which Mystery, suspense, procedural and family drama genres blend around a shocking crime that shakes a small town of Massachusetts, with the particularity that a famous district attorney is forced to choose between his sworn duty to defend justice above all else and his unconditional love for his son, the main suspect in the case.
Based on a hit novel by William Landay, adapted for television by Mark Bomback, creator of the last two installments of the trilogy of ‘The origin of the planet of the apes’ (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 2020-2017), the eight-part limited series format is the first advantage we find in this robust small-screen rendering. The book has time to breathe but there are no meaningless twists in the plot to fill in unnecessary minutes.
Also, the cast is quite impressive and, as Jacob’s parents, we have none other than Chris Evans y Michelle Dockery, which some will know from ‘Downton Abbey’. Although the best work of the series is the tremendous representation of a mother with serious doubts that Dockery composes, Evans is also great, far from the sympathy of his Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Has some nuance more in common with his recent role in ‘Daggers from the back’ (Knives Out, 2019) which he also co-starred in Jaeden martell.
Apple TV begins to compete in quality with Netflix and HBO
He plays the main character, Jacob, in a role also far removed from his heroic Bill in the two new films based on the novel ‘IT’ (2017-2919) by Stephen King, when it was known as Jaeden Lieberher. Interestingly, Marten played a young version of Chris Evans on ‘Let yourself be loved‘(Playing It Cool, 2014), so being her son now makes sense. The young actor every time he perfects his less sympathetic vis more and he is totally believable as a teenager full of fears and a disturbing side, for his apparent lack of feelings.
As if that were not enough, Evans’ nemesis in the case is embodied in Pablo Schreiber, who since the mythical Pornstache of ‘Orange Is the New Black’ (2013-2019) is becoming more and more essential. Accompany Betty Gabriel, Sakina Jaffrey o Cherry Jones to verify that Apple TV+ They have not spared any expenses and have looked for a prestigious product. And, despite the fact that its argument has enough danger points to go through a desktop program, its production and finishing could rival the best projects of HBO.
Like the novel, there are various twists and turns of the plot throughout the chapters that make urgency and addiction easy. But, far from focusing on the mystery itself, the red herrings along the way, and the revelations, the strength of ‘Defend Jacob’ is knowing how to make the viewer participate in the reaction to the events of those involved. There is a complex and varied range of emotions, which leaves a double reflection; on the one legal side and on implications for the person under investigation, on the presumption of innocence and the ease of losing anonymity in the US judicial system.
We need to talk about Jacob
On the other, there is a nuanced vision of family alienation shadowed by a minor’s guilt or not, of the cultural and emotional gulf between parents and children and the ethical and moral implications that brotherly love entails when there is an element that cannot be overlooked. All his songs flow slowly but with an exciting rhythm, making you long for the possibility of doing binge watching. In addition, the complete realization is the responsibility of the same author, Morten Tyldum, nominated for an Oscar for ‘The Imitation Game’ (2014).
The director applies an autumnal hue, with a color gamut of icy blues that really fits the atmosphere of slowly crumbling affections, and the doubt, almost paranoid of case films with juvenile suspects in the line of ‘The two faces of the truth‘(Primal Fear, 1996),’ We need to talk about Kevin ‘(We Need to Talk About Kevin, 2011) or’Super Dark Times’ (2017).
The idea that Jacob is ultimately innocent or guilty is not that important, but the horror of the possibility of a lesser murderer, creates a force of sadness and pain that terrifies and marks ‘Defend Jacob’ since his telluric discovery of an adolescent corpse. A journey that gives credibility to Apple’s streaming project and, to a certain extent, justifies its notable commitment to the black label without forgetting to offer a narrative that is never lost in the face of the reflection of the very idea of its aspirations.
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an absorbing judicial thriller with Chris Evans that shows the strength of Apple TV + in his series