‘Beware of the Midwife’ Review: Raven Douda's role as unyielding mother injects life into Lifetime's thriller
As an abusive mother, a criminal on the loose, and obsessive grandmother with dangerous and undesirable traits, Rose is painted as the quintessential antagonist
Spoilers ahead for Lifetime’s ‘Beware of the Midwife’
‘Beware of the Midwife’ at the start, reminds you of Vanessa Kirby and Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Pieces of a Woman’. With many parallels to the Netflix drama, the Lifetime thriller navigates mother-to-be Sarah’s (Mouna Traoré) conflict with her husband and medical professionals about the manner in which she wants to deliver her daughter. The story deviates after introducing its antagonist, who steals the spotlight thereon.
Sarah and her husband Kevin (Michael Xavier) have conceived their first child after a lot of trying and Sarah strongly believes it would be safer to deliver her baby at home. After going back and forth a lot with the decision to hire a midwife, the couple finalizes on Rose (Raven Dauda). ‘Beware of the Midwife’ gives us a glimpse into Rose’s character much earlier than Sarah and Kevin as it opens with a scene showing her steal a baby from the hospital’s nursery. When her plan to abduct the infant failed, she leaves it behind and escapes.
Jump to a few years later she is the midwife appointed by Sarah and Kevin to help with their daughter’s birth. When we are shown Rose, sporting longer hair with a successful career in midwife and nursing services, it is revealed that she’s still on the quest for a newborn. Sarah and Kevin’s offer would become the perfect opportunity for a desperate Rose, who does everything in her power to take away their baby daughter Mary.
The story grasps your attention by focusing on Rose’s relationship with her infertile daughter, who hasn’t been able to give her a grandchild. As an abusive mother, a criminal on the loose and obsessive grandmother with dangerous and undesirable traits, Rose is painted as the quintessential antagonist.
The plotline is well done, but the execution could have been better. Rose has without a doubt defined the entire movie, but the idea of a woman in her 50s something conveniently kidnapping babies, not once but twice, without getting caught, is exaggerated and could have done without it. An array of emotions are included, but they could have been showcased in better ways.
While Dauda’s acting stands out, Traore has similarly done justice to her character. Their characteristics are well-defined to suit the roles and the director Max McGuire’s idea of bringing them together is commendable. Yet, the story makes up for the lack of actions by showing a mother’s determination to find her baby daughter, which is worth watching till the end. The climax also surprises you with a couple of twists and the ending, we’ll leave it to you to guess.
‘Beware of the Midwife’ premieres on April 11 at 8 pm ET on Lifetime.