Grant and Whishaw always see eye to eye and that is why them going against each other seems so unreal in this realistic drama.
The writers Russell T. Davies and the director Stephen Frears are breathing sense into the actions of the most prestigious people fumbling and making mistakes from the most privileged position. Personally, I don’t follow the love and obsession over biographies- no matter how productive they have turned out for me over the years- and hence I loved this adaptation of John Preston’s book of the same name, since it never, even for a split second, makes you realise that all of it was real. Usually, when a textbook structure as such, for a courtroom drama, is executed, you aren’t particularly impressed with it, but I think Frears tricked us in here. While watching a film as such, your muscle-memory-alike inner voice sends you the signal that it is a seen-this-seen-that film, “film”, fiction film and not some true story.
And I think it is really important to dive in with your first instinct for it gives you endless possibilities and hold on to the loose end of the thread with some hope. The humor is not only surprising but ironical. Not an irony that traces smartness in characters but mocks the absurdity of the situation that they so amateurishly and perpetually put themselves in. The writer Davies is using the state of the position wisely.
From budding the comical sense into the narration to opinions and directions that leads them believing into bizarre stories, the sensitivity of the position that they are in is always kept priority uno. And not by differentiating the timeline and their ideology that was present at the moment, all the fears are emerged from going awry, off the track, “unofficial” as they put it so queerily. And maybe this is how I think Frears balances the series perfectly between these two gentlemen. If Ben Wishaw has a more empathetic role to embody and his performance is increasing his points too, Grant has got the edginess to draw you in, you are bound to be attracted to the ambiguity of his nature in A Very English Scandal.