I came across this drama due to Maxine Peake being amongst its cast, and thought it worth a look. It’s the story of a sexual abuse ring in Rochdale, but based on true events.
Right from the get-go, the atmosphere comes across as one which is slowly stifling and suffocating those within. The tight framing emphasizes the drama’s claustrophobic nature, and does it brilliantly well. The repeated use of handheld camera during the claustrophobic scenes only further adds to this.
Maxine Peake is flawless as always. Right from the get go her character exudes a quiet assurance which only exemplifies the magnitude of the presence she has as an actress, while her character (based on a real person) tries to fight a system which denies the responsibility of helping vulnerable people because they come from broken homes or impoverished backgrounds.
The younger girls playing the roles of the girls involved in the ring show the ability to be multifaceted characters whose inner turmoils are presented in a horrific way. They are more than mouthy youths and they are the product of unfortunate circumstances. I feel bad calling them talented, especially given the subject matter of the drama. However, they certainly hold a great deal of promise.
The first part of this drama drags you under into its mire and scarce lets you up for air. However, I will very likely watch the other episodes after coming up for air after my technological blackout. All in all, a good drama which portrays the dark side of British Pakistani immigration coupled in a deadly dance with a system which denies responsibility therein when people are put at risk.
MY RATING: ***. 5 / *****