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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wired hits DVD in the US this Tuesday

Wired     New on DVD from Acorn Media is the well received 2008 British TV miniseries, Wired. Three episodes make up this tale of financial deceit, double crossing, theft, and self preservation. Louise Evans (Jodie Whittaker, St. Trinian's, Venus) is approached by her friend, Anna (Charlie Brooks, EastEnders, Bleak House), to help some bad men steal a bunch of money from a rich client at the bank where Louise works. When Louise refuses, the villains threaten her daughter, Erica (Helena Fox). Louise goes along with it, only to be approached by Detective Crawford Hill (Toby Stephens, Die Another Day, Severance) to help the cops catch the crooks. Louise ends up playing both sides as she looks for the best way out of a terrible situation.

     Totaling around two hours and fifteen minutes, Wired feels like a heist movie rather than something made for television. The acting is top notch, the directing and art design makes the entire thing look realistic, and the plot is complicated and obtuse. Many characters aren't on a right or wrong side, but are doing what they can given the circumstances. Lest you worry about being bored when the robbery merely involves electronic transfers, rather than breaking into vaults, the pacing and various twists keep things flying along at quite a fast pace. From start to finish, it's hard to really be sure what anyone's motivations are, or what they might do next.

     Besides Louise, who is the star of the entire piece, Ben (Sacha Dhawan, Outsourced) is in a similar position, and provides a nice foil. Considering Dhawan was most recently seen in a zany NBC sitcom, it is refreshing to see him work his chops, and prove he can do gritty drama, as well.

     Manesh (Riz Ahmed, Dead Set, Four Lions) and Phillip (Laurence Fox, Inspector Lewis) are the bad guys Louise has direct contact with, but as they are only in the game for themselves, their loyalty, too, is called into question. Also appearing is Jason Watkins (Being Human) as Louise's boss. Delightful to see him in an environment that doesn't include the supernatural, though he does play a similar character. Instead of sucking blood, he sucks money from those who can afford it.

     Louise is a highly sympathetic main character. She obviously needs the money being involved in illegal activities will bring, but she can do without the threat, and so is willing to forgo the payout if it keeps her out of trouble. Though, if she can snag a bit in the process, she will. Her morality merely extends to protecting her daughter and herself, and she seems to have little qualm about defrauding the bank's clients.

     Really interesting is the dynamic between Louise and Crawford. Not a typical romance, they do have some sexual tension, and there are romantic moments for the duo, including a bedroom scene. However, while Crawford does let his emotional connection with Louise get in the way of the case, he doesn't aggressively pursue her. Louise is agreeable with the attention she is getting from him, but won't let herself be distracted much when the events are so serious. It is a really neat, unexpectedly original way to handle a love story.

     There are no special features.

     Wired will be released this Tuesday, June 21st on DVD. I highly recommend purchasing a copy.

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Article first published as DVD Preview: Wired on Blogcritics.

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