Since the finale of series 3, I have been re-watching the previous series of Broadchurch. And what has truly surprised me about the re-watch is how incredible this show really is. Of course, the star of the program is the amazing story. Broadchurch completely revolutionized the murder mystery genre for our modern age. There actually is a mystery element to the investigation; we never really know who is guilty until the story is ready to us, and that is something a lot of mystery crime stories struggle with. No other program balances mystery, drama, and intensity into one story arch quite as well as Broadchurch.
But the reason this show has been inspiring me this week is because of its glorious production. From the cinematography to the score to the editing, Broadchurch truly sets the bar high for quality programming. Obviously, the outstanding quality of the entire production was not something I registered during my initial watch through of the show, but, my god, did it register this time.
Throughout this watch through, I was so moved not by the story, but by the style of the episodes. In the first episode alone I was blown away by the perfectly paced reveal, the beyond stunning cinematography, and the provocative editing. One moment, in particular, that stood out in the first episode is when Beth discovers Danny’s body on the beach. We witness the moment in a wide shot, but the counter shot is a POV of Beth’s hysterical state: the frame is dominated by Hardy and the other officers, but we only see the lower half of their bodies; we can see in the background only the shoes of our POV’s child, the rest of the body covered; the scene is played in slow-motion, completely void of sound other than the emotional score. By including this POV, the director evokes a completely new emotion in the audience. It truly is an emotional, provocative moment. This is what makes this moment stand apart from other moments; we feel the uneasy, the stress, the tension of Beth and the detectives. It’s a massive whirlwind of emotions, and we can’t help but to feel something in this moment.
This style continues throughout the show’s multiple series, continuing to evoke these unconscious emotions in the audience. I think this is where Broadchurch excels. I have wouldn’t have felt as much for the characters had it not been for the emotion that was created through the production. Because otherwise, I wouldn't really care.
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