Cast :- Tom Hardy, Oona Chaplin, Jonathon Price
Director :- Kristoffer Nyoholm, Anders Engstrom
Genre :- Historical Drama
Everyone remembers the East India Company. The capitalistic trading company that paved most of the path for the British Empire. This show revisits the past with the exception being the company is on it’s knees instead of a possibly two feet high podium like history has been written to portray.
So, the show casts the eccentric and devastating Tom Hardy – Bane? Yeah, him. The show was scripted by Tom and his dad.
So, the story revolves around James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) who returns from Africa after eight years for his father’s funeral. Presumed dead after the sinking of a company’s ship that was carrying illegal slaves, James is now transferred possession of his father’s property placed along a coastal village that is along the eastern seaboard of the continental american colony (now USA) along the time of the American War of Independence. The Americans want the land to secure their sovereignity and the British to ensure that they still have a little ounce of control in the colony after the treaty is signed and USA is formed.
That is most of the intial storyline with tons of character building elements placed and portrayed by actors in it’s outstanding cast and by Tom Hardy himself. So, let’s see of the cast and their performance.
I have a use for you – James Delaney
Tom Hardy single-handedly pulled off the entire show with a lot of support from the rest of the cast. There aren’t many prominent names that i know of save a few. So, Tom Hardy portrays a perfect James Delaney. An enstranged man who has returned home to see a different world from the one he left behind. You can very well see the effects, Africa – the place where he has been have taken a toll on him. He feels like a shackled man even after he has been granted freedom but with the advancing of the story you see that he has learnt a whole lot of things that Africa has taught him in return something which civilized society tends to hide away from people. His line “I have a use for you” gives you his Bane type feeling of dominance and a jolt up your spine.
There are a lot of other characters spread out over different parts of society. There are doctors, traitors, loyalists to the outlawed American colony, cross-dressing actors, incestuous siblings (being James and his sister), unconventional doctor/chemist , bandits, sailors, lawyers etc. Basically giving us the entire framework of that era of London, where the richer than god East India Company dictated the British Landscape which in fact was the most dominating Empire in history.
The rest of the cast has a few famous names such as Jonathon Pryce playing the head of East India Company (Sir Stuart Strange) who is trying to gain the land of James Delaney at any cost to ensure their trade and dominance of the company stays even after Britain loses the American Colonies.
Michael Kelly acts as an American spy hidden as a London doctor, he I think shall always be a schemer (Doug Stamper – House of Cards?). He plays the role beautifully and gives power to the character better than everyone else who were thought fit to play the character.
The plot of the show was mind – blowing seeing the various schemes James Delaney places throughout the story, all planned and executed by him alone by manipulating the company or the crown. You can see clearly the recreation of tension between the monarchy and the company of maintaining dominance in the world and how James Delaney uses that to his advantage. It gives really important and mind-blowing life lessons as well. James Delaney basically fought the urge to sell his land to the East India Company and survived to tell the tale when as history tells even the great and utterly wealthy kings of India would dare not stand in their way. He lived in isolation in an unknown land doing things which he was not proud of, developing a persona that bowed down to nobody. So, when he gets back after 8 years in hell, the fear everybody has for the East India Company which was a small trading company back when he was in England but is now the wealthiest corporation in the world – escapes him and his lack of emotional relationships make him a ruthless, selfish man who has horse – blinds fixed to take him straight to his goal and nowhere else.
All in all, the only thing I didn’t quite like about the show was that Tom Hardy was the center of attention. Not that I’m complaining but a little shining of the other characters and the backstory into things such as – the chemist, sister’s development of the incestuous relationship with her brother, the cross-dresser and how he lived his double life so easily etc would be appreciated. I also felt the East India Company was shown to be wimp, unlike the East India Company that the history books remind us of.
So, if i were you I would suggest you to watch it. The main reason I knew I loved it was because I tend to be on my phone checking FB or Instagram and if the show is really amazing every single ounce of the mind – blowing information seeps through and this one did. When I finished the first episode I knew what show I was gonna binge – watch.
My Rating :- Alleviating Recreation of History