Review: The Widow

Kate Beckinsale in The Widow

The Widow, an 8 part Amazon original suspense thriller, wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. The best thing going for the series was the star Kate Beckinsale. There are a couple of spoilers ahead, so beware.

The story boils down to this: Georgia Wells (Beckinsale) is languishing in Wales three years after her husband died in a plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

A news photo of two men.

Georgia sees a photo of a chaotic riot scene in Congo on the news. She’s sure the man in the orange baseball cap is her supposedly dead husband Will (Matthew Le Never). So she takes off for DRC to find him.

As you do.

Georgia did have some personal resources for this type of thing. She’d been an army officer for years.

There are many entangled plotlines in her quest to find out the truth about her husband. There’s Judith Gray (Alex Kingston), Will’s boss. She runs charities in the DRC.

One survivor of the plane crash Ariel (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) tells a very different story of what happened from the official version.

Maybe the plane crash has something to do with General Azikiwe (Babs Olusanmokun). General Azikiwe was a haunted and hunted man in this series. Maybe the other man in the news photo with the missing husband, Pieter Bello (Bart Fouche) was involved. Maybe it was all a matter of money from the coltan mines. Maybe the good guys are really the bad guys and the bad guys are really the good guys.

It’s plot twisty like that.

Kate Beckinsale and Charles Dance in The Widow

Georgia’s friend Martin (Charles Dance) is familiar with the charities in the DRC. He knows Judith and he knew Will. He goes to Africa to help Georgia with the search.

Shalom Nyandiko in The Widow
A child soldier is rescued from her life by the great white savior Georgia Wells

During her ventures into the jungles, Georgia picks up a child soldier named Adidja (Shalom Nyandiko) and takes her back to the city with her. We learn through flashbacks that Georgia and Will lost their 3 month old daughter a few months before he disappeared. Georgia has motherly feelings for Adidja.

Many flashbacks were used. Several characters lives were explained in this way. The most interesting one to me was the (spoiler alert!) lesbian relationship between Judith and Sally (Siobhan Finneran). That one was a surprise. (I liked that women in the age range of Alex Kingston and Siobhan Finneran had a romance.)

Most the the flashbacks were used to give us a quick look into character motivation. Ariel and (spoiler alert!) ultimately Will turned out to be sniveling cowards. We learned this through flashbacks. Some of the women were thieves and liars.

Georgia, our heroine, never gave up on anything! She could rescue African girls, find killers governments chose to ignore, escape all kinds of dangerous threats, and inspire the most cowardly man to stand up and act like a hero. Did I mention the best part of this series was Kate Beckinsale?

The series was shot in numerous locations. The scenes filmed in Wales and and South Africa were exceptionally striking. The action scenes were well done whether they were set in jungles or on busy city streets.

Even though I was disappointed with several things about this series, it was still engaging and I watched it all the way to the end. I especially liked some of the plot twists – they added interest.

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Widow”

  1. i agree, it was engaging. i was disappointed in the reveal about the husband and her friend – its a bit cynical to believe that everyone is corruptible/corrupted. but Kate took the material and made the most of it, as she so often does.

  2. I just finished watching “The Widow”. Besides the jump around format of the different acts, it had some pluses and some minuses. The cinematography was excellent. Amazon reports this series as all 4K and we were impressed. I was also impressed with the natural acting of Shalom Nyandiko. She did her lines with incredible naturalness and authority. I was more impressed by her than Kate Beckinsale. While Kate has always had a somewhat mellow tone in her vocal delivery, in the The Widow she at times sounded like a chain smoker. If we had seen her holding a cig at every moment of the episodes, it would have fit! But in this case I would have to surmise that Ms Beckinsale chain smokes herself. She definitely sounded like it. With her raspy UK accent and the colonial English accents with the cast, there were a few times I had to pause and replay it to get the translation right (short of turning on subtitles). The lesbian scene was a toss away. It existed merely to add more cynicism to the overall series and brought no depth or much relevance to the location of the husband. The character was already wealthy, was going to donate the inheritance to charity and it was hard to accept she was that emotionally vulnerable considering she never took time to see or check on her mother.

    Overall the series leaves you as a downer. People only exist to screw you over and the ones who do help can be tossed aside when they are done being used. Geez, even the sheep dog owner was set up to look like he was going to use her when really he was just looking for company. And when he apologizes for trying to be nice, the Beckinsale character tells him to piss off!

    In summary, beautiful scenery, great African cultural references, but just way to cynical.

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