Jane Tennison's Last Hurrah
Julian G. | New York | 06/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best Prime Suspect was definitely saved for last. In Prime Suspect 6, Jane Tennison rose to an entirely new level as she fought insubordination and calls to retire, while solving a complex international murder. In Prime Suspect 7, Jane Tennison faces new challenges, but most of these challenges come from within, as she struggles with alcoholism and the death of her father, all while trying to solve her most challenging case yet. The drama and suspense of Prime Suspect 7 is as great as we have seen in the past, but what makes this Prime Suspect the best yet is the extraordinary depth of Jane Tennison. Helen Mirren delivers yet another brilliant and masterful performance in the role that has defined her career."
A Sobering Retirement For DS Jane Tennison.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 09/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act" finds Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) a 35-year veteran of the police force, weeks away from retirement, and struggling to keep her head above water as she solves her last case. The hysterical parents of 14-year-old Sallie Sturdy keep the pressure on to find their daughter's killer, as Tennison's alcoholism threatens to consume her personal and professional being. Tennison finds both an outlet for maternal instincts and a reminder of her own youth in Sallie's friend Penny Phillips (Laura Greenwood), who may know more than she is telling abut the crime. Penny's father and school headmaster (Stephen Tompkinson) and the girls' thuggish friend Curtis Flynn (Heshima Thompson) both have suspect connections to Sallie and suspect alibis. With no one, including Tennison, in full possession of his or her senses, this case careens toward its conclusion.
Without Helen Mirren's reticence and force of personality, this final episode of "Prime Suspect" would be pure melodrama. Many of the characters are so overwrought that I would expect to find them heavily medicated or institutionalized. "Prime Suspect" always included melodrama, but these performances are so hysterical that they undermine the show's gritty realism. I fault director Philip Martin for that. Helen Mirren's sharpness and deliberation prevent Jane Tennison from becoming a similar caricature. She grabs the audience's sympathies, even as Tennison's behavior is sometimes alienating. As a window on the weight that decades of grim work have placed on Jane Tennison's shoulders, "The Final Act" succeeds admirably. In other respects, this episode is flawed. And I couldn't help wondering if the writers' intention was to advocate the omnipresence of CCTV cameras in the UK by making the video footage out to be essential to crime-solving.
The DVDs (Acorn Media 2007): This is a 2-disc set with the first half of the film on Disc 1 and the conclusion on Disc 2 -an absurd waste of space in my view. Unlike some previous "Prime Suspect" DVDs, the film is in its proper 1.66:1 format, not full screen. Bonus features are on Disc 2, where you will find a "Photo Gallery" slide show of on-set photos and production stills, "Cast Filmographies" of 7 cast members, and a "Prime Suspect: Behind the Scenes" documentary (45 min). The documentary interviews producers and cast members from various "Prime Suspect" series, looks at the series' 15-year history, its inception, its themes, and inspirations. Also interviewed is Jackie Malton, the DCI who advised the first episode and on whom some of Jane Tennison's experiences were based."
The last shall be first.
Richard B. Schwartz | Columbia, Missouri USA | 11/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Prime Suspects have all been superb, but the last may well be the best, principally because of Helen Mirren's acting and the quality of the script. As much a drama as a crime drama, "The Final Act" focuses on the private life of the protagonist. Jane's father is on his death bed and she is in her cups. Moreover, there is the overarching fear that she might take a bullet to the gut before her DCI work is concluded. The tone is somber, the supporting cast very able, the lighting and tone pitch perfect.
The production values are excellent and the direction exquisite. This is television at its finest as well as its grittiest and most moving. An absolute don't miss."
Jeffrey M. Bembaron | ANAHEIM, CA. | 10/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS IS AN EXCELLENT END TO A WONDERFUL DETECTIVE SERIES. TO SEE MISS HELEN MIRREN AT WORK IS THE MOST GRATIFYING PART OF WATCHING THIS DVD.
MISS MIRREN FINISHES THIS SERIES OF DECTECTIVE DRAMAS ON A HIGH NOTE, AS WE GET TO SEE HER CHARACTER SOLVE HER FINAL CASE, AND RETIRE ON A HIGH POINT.
EVEN WITH ALL HER PROBLEMS, THRU THE YEARS, IT WAS ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE HER PUT THE PIECES OF A CASE TOGETHER, AND FIANLLY SOLVE IT. NOW THAT THIS IS THE FINAL ACT, SHE AND HER CHARACTER WILL BE MISSED. THANK GOD FOR THE DVD."