23 March 2016 | paul2001sw-1
Formal but effective
A monologue, as a form of dramatic exposition, is all about the reveal: someone tells you their story, in a way that seems natural, but the twist is in the telling: as the story is told, so the narrator's perspective on what they have to say changes, and the message of the story is not that they might have been intending to pass on. Of course, first person novels sometimes work like this as well. But in the televisual form, something is lost in the format - the ability to show, rather than tell - so to be justified, there has to be something gained in the telling. 'Murder' doesn't quite take the form of a pure monologue: instead, each episode consists of the interspersed monologues of a number of characters, all involved in an act of killing. There's minimal dramatic reconstruction around the storytelling. It's an unusual approach, but it works: the writing, acting and understated direction is all well done. It's a bit formal, yet one can actually end up empathising with those involved, even with those who are eventually revealed to have actually done the deed. If all television was like this, I guess it would quickly grow boring; as it is, it's a pleasantly grown-up and intelligent drama, and one that rewards the attention of its audience.