'The Widow' review: Amazon's new suspense thriller is a riveting binge as Kate Beckinsale nails her return to TV
The eight-episode series will keep you gasping and praying as stories connect and unfurl in the unlikeliest of manners
There's something extremely and extraordinarily fierce about a woman fighting for her loved ones, be it for her children or her husband. 'The Widow,' as the title suggests is a story of a British woman named Georgia Wells (Kate Beckinsale), who believes her husband, Will Mason (Matthew Le Nevez), died in a plane crash until she is proven wrong.
Three years after living the life of a widow in Wales, U.K., she embarks on a dangerous journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), fighting the kind of odds that can only be imagined. There are simultaneous flashbacks happening as we delve in to understand the story better and make up our own mind if Georgia Wells is chasing a ghost, or if her husband is really alive.
Cue, the orange baseball cap that Will wore when he was on his way to the DRC, the final time Georgia saw him. The same cap was spotted on a cable news channel that was reporting the unrest in the DRC in the present. Georgia wastes no time getting to Africa, recruiting all the help she can, but unfortunately, not many believe her.
Striding by chance, fate, and belief, Georgia ties her hair up (she rocks her ponytail) and gets down to find Will. But her journey is immediately hindered as one of her close confidants, and perhaps the only person who believed her, gets killed in an explosion. The said explosion was actually targeted for Georgia, after being warned to "go home," but you know, there is something extremely and extraordinarily fierce about a woman fighting for her loved ones.
The second person she can turn to is Judith (Alex Kingston), Will’s former boss at a charity organization. Georgia is living in her residence while in Africa, and Judith is also explicitly helping her with all the contacts possible to find Will. After tracking down the person she needs to get absolute answers from - Pieter Bello (Bart Fouche) - Georgia realizes none of anything makes sense.
She is in a foreign land, where no one understands her, and no one is keen to help her. Watching Georgia navigate her own way, be it in the thick Congolese jungle or fighting for her own modesty as men try to rape her, or even resorting to blackmail to get her answers is stirring and commendable.
Thank god, she does have a friend in Martin Benson (Charles Dance), who isn't easily persuadable, but once he realizes Georgia needs him and she is adamant about Will's survival, he jumps onto her mission. Benson is a retired member of the British military intelligence and has all the resources to help her. His advent comes as a much-needed blessing.
There are two parallel stories to look out for, there's a plane crash survivor, Ariel Helgason, living a stolen identity, and who knows what exactly happened in the aircraft. He lost his eyesight following the crash, and knows the truth that the incident was not a system failure, as it was reported to be. Another story is that of a little girl named Adidja (Shalom Nyandiko), recruited by Bello, running his own terrorist group, to terrorize the country.
These two stories interweave beautifully and it's more than obvious that the show is crisply and smartly written by Harry and Jack Williams, the creators of 'The Missing.' At the end, our questions take a U-turn. We no longer ask if Will is alive, we question if all these adversities are worth it.
When the 2-minute trailer for 'The Widow' came out a month ago, many criticized the show had given too much of its storyline and had a guessable plot. But the truth is, it did not. After watching all the 8 episodes, I can say the show runs deeper than the lush Congolese jungle. There's much to look forward to when the show premieres on Amazon Prime March 1. Kate Beckinsale has delivered an exceptional performance as the widow, and rest of the cast is just as terrific.
You can keep your guesses coming, but the plot twists and baffling outcomes will keep you at the edge of your seat.