‘Time’: Cast & Crew
Created By: Jimmy McGovern
Director: Lewis Arnold
Cast: Sean Bean, Stephen Graham, James Nelson-Joyce, Nabil Elouahabi, Natalie Gavin, Hannah Walters, Nadine Marshall, Jack McMullen, Sue Johnston, David Calder, Jonathan Harden, Siobhan Finneran, Kadiff Kirwan, Aneurin Barnard, Terence Maynard, Kevin Harvey, Cal MacAninch, Brian McCardie, Michael Socha, Jason Done, Lee Morris
Available On: BookMyShow Stream
Duration: 4 Episodes, 45 Minutes Each
Mark Cobden (Sean Bean) is newly imprisoned, consumed by guilt for his crime, and way out of his depth in the volatile world of prison life. He meets Eric McNally (Stephen Graham), an excellent prison officer doing his best to protect those in his charge. However, when one of the most dangerous inmates identifies his weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and his family. Will Eric McNally finally be able to save his family? Will Mark Cobden be able to protect his sanctity inside prison? Will Eric McNally and Mark Cobden come together to pull off something totally unthinkable inside prison? Well, for all that you’ll have to watch ‘Time’.
Sean Bean’s performance is the only thing which is worthy of a mention in ‘Time’. Being a stellar performer for over the years, this would have been as easy as ABC for him. There isn’t a lot of physicality to the character, which is why he too doesn’t get to open his arms wide and showcase his prowess. However, he manages to give the full range of emotions, which elevates his performance.
Stephen Graham tries his level best to give a performance that’s worthy of his stature. Sadly, there isn’t enough meat in the story to give weight to his character. It’s a total waste of his talent.
None of the other supporting cast have a standout performance.
‘Time’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
Lewis Arnold’s direction is too plain Jane and utterly insipid. While the intention is to show how life inside a prison is slow, boring and monotonous, it should have been layered with a few high points of conflicts between the prisoners or between the prisoners and the jail officials. Sadly, very little of that sort happened, which is why the overall undertone of the presentation ended up being too boring.
Jimmy McGovern’s writing is also to be blamed here. He has tried to push off an utterly artsy storyline with a commercially popular actor in the centre of it all, giving the audiences the impression that there would be commercially engaging elements to the presentation. The monotonous life of prison is showcased well, but it’s not gripping enough to make you want to stick on till the very end. You’re just praying for something interesting to happen which would make your sitting through the 4 episodes worth your time. Sadly, nothing of that sort happens, and even the climax turns out to be a damp squid.
Mark Wolf’s cinematography is the only praiseworthy thing. Shooting the entirety in pretty much indoor shoots isn’t always easy. However, he made it so smooth and seamless that you would get the feel of a real-life prison. Also, nowhere are the scenes not well-lit despite being indoors for almost the entire 4 episodes. He hasn’t tried to use any new-age innovative technique for showcasing his artsy prowess, but rather let the filming be so simple that it comes out utterly looking natural and without any VFX.
The editing by Sacha Szwarc is so dragged. The original version had over an hour-long 3 episodes each, but with BookMyShow Stream, they’ve managed to chop 15 minutes around from each episode and pushed the series to 4 episodes. This helps the narrative a lot as you’re not cursing your stars that you’re watching such long dull episodes. In 44-45-minute-long episodes, you’re still kept interested to know what’s going to eventually happen.
Sarah Warne’s music as well isn’t something to be praised a lot as well. The background score manages to set the boring monotonous feel of a prison for you perfectly, but there is so little of it and it comes in such little spurts that you’ll end up falling asleep.
‘Time’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Time’ is too slow for comfort. Not only is the storytelling slow, but even the plot itself has no thrill to it. It solely depends on the performance of the lead, Sean Bean. He is immaculate. Even though there isn’t too much physicality to the act, the emotional subtexts were just too brilliantly portrayed onscreen by him. This is an artsy project, and to understand the subtleties of the storyline, it will be a bit too much for the commercial Indian audiences. That’s why, overall, the show is a Bloody Bore. I am going with 1.5 stars.