My Rating: 3 Stars
Cast: Jessica Brown Findlay, John Hurt, Sebastian Stan, Vanessa Kirby, Tom Felton, Emun Elliott, Katie McGrath
Two French women share a common destiny despite being separated by 800 years in this adaptation of Kate Mosse’s novel.
I mainly watched this because it had some actors that I really like in it, and it was being streamed on The CW app, so I figured it would have some good romance in it. What can I say? I’m a hopeless romantic.
I was confused for a good while. The plot jumps between modern day and the 1200’s, without much explanation as to how or why.
The gist of the story is that there are two women (Kirby and Findlay) who have linked destinies, even though they are living 800 years apart, and those destinies have to do with the Grail (not the one that Jesus drank from at the last supper, another one that…I don’t know, gives everlasting life. But it’s not the Jesus Grail. Apparently that was important). Alais (Findlay) is entrusted with books that will allow her to find this Grail, and she is sworn to keep them safe. Unfortunately, a lot of people want everlasting life. She rarely has a safe moment the entire time. On the other hand, 800 years later, Alice (Kirby), by accidently finding a cave (and a strange ring on a skeleton’s finger) during an archeological dig, is thrust into a dangerous conflict involving a cult that is after the same Grail, and is very willing to kill anyone in their way.
Even once you get back story and some explanation, I was still pretty lost on quite a bit of the details. I mean, I guess I generally got the main plot, but even there, as I am trying to write a review, I am at a loss as to how a lot of things fit together. Especially in the modern day plot. For instance, there’s this cult that is like, killing people and trying to get the Grail. But I never really understood who the people in the cult were. Were their identities important? Or was the fact that they were looking for the Grail the important thing? And like, what was the actual deal with this cult? You really didn’t know practically anything about them.
So apart from having somewhat confusing writing, I enjoyed the cast. Jessica Brown Findlay heads this ship, and I LOVE her from Downton Abbey (and we can all have a moment of silence for Sybil). Emun Elliott (whom I absolutely adore from The Paradise) plays her gloomy husband, and they have a sweet, if long-suffering love story. Tom Felton plays a young, just, and honorable lord, but it was so hard to not think of him as Draco with long hair. That’s not his fault, as the character was very different from Draco, but after seeing him play the little snot for ten years, it’s hard to see him as anyone else. I should just expect to hate every character that Katie McGrath plays. I hate her Morgana from Merlin, and I hated her in Labyrinth. I wonder if she gets tired of playing the backstabbing, horrible opportunist. She does it quite well, but it doesn’t make me hate her any less.
In the modern day cast, we have Sebastian Stan, who for some reason I love. He was a character that I felt should have been more than he was. The way they introduced him, I kept expecting him to be like SURPRISE I’m actually the big bad here. But he’s sweet and adorable, and I really liked his character. The leading lady here is Vanessa Kirby, who is pretty to look at (her eyes are gorgeous), but not incredibly interesting to watch act. She’s not terrible, but I was far more engaged in Jessica Brown Findlay’s character.
There’s some random torture and violence with the cult, and I’m sure all that is better defined in the book, but I just could hardly bring myself to care. I was very invested in the 1200’s people, since they were fighting medieval wars, and I cared a great deal about what happened to those characters. So all in all, I generally enjoyed this mini-series, but it’s not something you should rush to watch.