In the aftermath of The End of the F***in’ World’s triumph as an on-demand hit back then, British coming-of-age dark comedy is also on the rise. Two Weeks to Live, a British 6-part mini-series, follows the step and attempts to replicate the success by bringing on some more familiar faces, like Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, and Fleabag’s Sian Clifford. Written by comedy writer, Gaby Hull, and directed in its entirety by Al Campbell, it’s a revenge-infested comedy that feels pessimistic, but, interestingly funny in the process.
Williams portrays Kim Noakes, a teenager raised in North of England, as the story exaggeratingly exclaims, by her single mother. Clifford portrays the mother, Tina, who single-handedly educates her daughter to be independent and, most importantly, vicious. Tina is Kim’s single source of knowledge and belief; therefore, it’s not quite surprising that she believes that the world is ending soon because her mother told her so.
Knowing that the end of the world is nigh as the title might suggest, Kim has an epiphany. The end will not go anywhere, but it won’t get delayed even if she hasn’t been able to hunt down and kill the man who murdered his father. Just like that and the revenge mission begins, dragging along brothers Jay (Taheen Modak) and Nicky (Mawaan Rizwan) in the process. When complication arises, her vengeance eventually lures her mother onto the “modern” world she has left behind.
Two Weeks to Live doesn’t take long to get into the action by using most of its six episodes with a compact plot that feels dense if not a little congested. Kim naively embarks on a mission in a world she doesn’t know exists with only determination and her over-the-top survival skills. It’s enticing to follow her journey as she unravels the truth about the made-up world that her mother tells her as she goes on with the plan. At the same time, it’s interesting to find out how that very same world has shaped up Tina as a mother of her own kind.
Williams is the reason Two Weeks to Live works even when the plot feels cramped with familiar themes. She delivers Kim’s blind determination with intensity, pretty much similar to how her Game of Thrones’ character has grown by the second half of the series. Yet, it’s the naivety that makes up the best of her character in this mini-series. Clifford provides a much-needed catalyst to make the conflicts work and, most importantly, to spice up Williams’ dangerous display of naivety.
However congested it might seem, Two Weeks to Live is basically a straight-forward revenge thriller that benefits from the leads’ uplifting performance. It’s bleak at times and ironic at some other times; but, one thing for sure, it’s always exhilaratingly fun.
The UK series is produced by Kudos Film and Television originally for Sky UK and HBO Max. The six-part mini-series was first released from 2 September – 7 October 2020 in the UK. Mola TV acquired the distribution rights of this series for the Indonesian market.
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