Patrick Melrose - Review

Patrick Melrose

Patrick Melrose - Review

Directed by Edward Berger and written by David Nicholls, Patrick Melrose is a limited miniseries of five episodes featuring cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving, among other notable actors. The series, although consisting of only five episodes, delves into many dark themes such as death, substance abuse, trauma, addiction, and physical abuse and torment. 

The series follows the character of Patrick Melrose as he learns about the death of his abusive father and how he deals with it. With some episodes, there are flashbacks to show the extent to which his father abused him, and why Patrick has the addiction we see him have in the present. 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in this limited series can be, without a doubt, one of his personal best. Although other series he has done, like Sherlock, and movies such as Doctor Strange, fit his persona greatly, Cumberbatch truly shifted into the character of Patrick Melrose and portrayed him brilliantly.

With the parts that the character needed to be distanced, under the influence, traumatized, sad, happy, Cumberbatch portrayed each emotion vividly and in a raw manner without overacting by any means. 

Another brilliant performance the audience sees is by Patrick’s younger self, played by Sebastian Maltz. It is quite rare to find child actors playing the part of a terrified character so well, yet Maltz was able to depict the terror and fear he felt from his abusive father through his facial reactions alone. 

Overall, the show depicts the nature of a privileged man who was deeply traumatized and fell into the loop of substance abuse. The story, although already based on a book of the same name, written by Edward St. Aubyn, is still written thoughtfully and in a realistic way.

The acting from all cast members, as well as the cinematography and music really heightened the feelings that were depicted in each scene. The show overall gets a rating of 9.5/10.

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Updated 2 years ago