SERIES REVIEW – Netflix recently debuted a new British miniseries based on the 1991 novel Obsession. The story follows a respected London surgeon who starts an affair with his son’s fiancée, and becomes increasingly immersed in a dark and dangerous passion. In the three episodes of the series, not only the protagonists’ lives are turned upside down, but the viewers also witness an exciting and provocative drama, which does not skimp on sexual scenes either. But is Obsession more than a superficial shagfest, or does it have a deeper message behind it?
Obsession is not the first adaptation of Josephine Hart’s novel, which was published in 1992 as a movie starring Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche, but it did not achieve great success among critics and audiences. Netflix has now tried to revive the story, which was written for screen by Morgan Lloyd-Malcolm and Benji Walters, directed by Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa, and starred Richard Armitage (The Hobbit), Charlie Murphy (Peaky Blinders) and Indira Varma (Game of Thrones). The three episodes of the series were released on the streaming service on April 13th, and have been talked about ever since – mostly for their hot scenes.
The price of passion – How does a destructive affair develop?
The series focuses on William (Richard Armitage), a successful surgeon and family man in London. One day he meets Anna (Charlie Murphy), who is none other than his son Martyn’s (Rish Shah) fiancée. William is immediately attracted to Anna, who reciprocates his interest, and soon they get involved in a secret relationship. William cannot resist Anna, who has a mysterious past and a wounded soul and does everything to keep her place next to both men. On the other hand, William loses more and more control over his life, while his wife Ingrid (Indira Varma) suspects nothing. The series shows how a passionate affair develops between two people who cannot give up each other, but only hurt themselves.
Sex is not enough – What is missing from the series?
Obsession does not spare sexual scenes ranging from softer to rougher ones. The series does not shy away from showing the protagonists’ physical desires and pleasures, but it also does not forget about the emotional consequences. The series tries to show that William and Anna’s relationship is not only physical, but also emotional, and that they both suffer from guilt and fear. However, the series does not really convince the viewer that William and Anna love each other, or that they are only driven by passion. The series does not give enough space for the characters’ motivations and backgrounds, so the viewer cannot identify with or understand them. The series stays on the surface and does not reveal deeper layers or messages.
The actors save what can be saved – Who stands out in the series?
The biggest strength of Obsession is the acting, which is mostly high-quality. Richard Armitage and Charlie Murphy play William and Anna very well, and their chemistry and tension are palpable. Armitage especially brings out the confused and passionate surgeon who loses his self-control. Murphy plays convincingly the broken and mysterious woman who does everything to be happy. Indira Varma is also excellent as William’s wife Ingrid, a strong and intelligent woman who cannot prevent her husband’s infidelity. Among the supporting characters, Pippa Bennett-Warner stands out as Peggy, William’s colleague and friend, who tries to help him find a way out of his situation.
Is it worth watching Obsession?
Obsession is a short and intense series that does not leave much time for breathing. In the three episodes of the series, the viewers can follow the development and fate of William and Anna’s affair, which does not remain without consequences. The end of the series does not spare the protagonists, and does not give them an easy way out of their situation. The end of the series is dramatic and surprising, but not completely satisfying. The end of the series feels like something is missing from it, or like it could have said something more. The end of the series does not answer every question, and does not close every thread.
Obsession is a series that divides the viewers. Some think it is an exciting and erotic thriller that captivates them. Others think it is a superficial and clichéd drama that does not offer anything new or valuable. Obsession is a series that is worth watching if you like passionate and provocative stories, but do not expect too much from it.