Tom Holland’s new series hides the twist as if the story hadn’t been known for four decades

Oscar-winning writer Tom Holland stars in a dramatic role and is directed by Cornell Mundrukso – A crowded room It’s no accident, but judging by the end result, it might still be one of the disappointments of the year. The series with the rather telling title tells the story of Billy Milligan, the first convict sent to a mental institution instead of prison because of his personality disorder, though it pretends to solve the mystery of the century. The review is based on the first four chapters.

A crowded room It was definitely one of the most anticipated series of the year, mainly because it was born under a very lucky constellation: Akiva Goldsman He was asked to be a producer Wonderful mindHe also won an Oscar Tom Holland and he is seen in it in his first serious dramatic role, which affected him so much mentally that he took a year off. Actors can also give reason for hope, he believes Amanda Seyfried And this FoudaKnown from Lear Ross As can be seen in this, and the film also has a strong Hungarian aspect, it has three episodes, including the first two. Cornel Mundruso As a notable director. The title was inspiring, especially during a true crime frenzy: Daniel Keyes Sweet dreams, Billy! Based on his book published in 1981, it dealt with a shocking case.

Billy Milligan His story significantly divided Americans in the 1970s, and his case remains a precedent that divides opinion to this day. The young man committed an armed robbery in Ohio in the seventies, raping several women, but after he was caught, an incredibly strange suspect stood before them: the man did not deny his actions, but said that he did not remember them. The victims reported completely different personalities in their testimony, and the investigation revealed that the man was incredibly erratic as if he was not the same person in different conversations. After undergoing psychological testing, it was revealed that he had severe mental health problems – mainly due to his traumatic childhood – and that he had multiple personalities. He was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, then with dissociative personality disorder – the two should not be confused, in both cases the person has multiple personalities, but schizophrenics usually do not perceive their condition as a problem, as sufferers of dissociative personality disorder suspect. Something is wrong and they don’t remember what happened. Millikan was the first known case in which a person was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and was given voluntary treatment instead of prison. His case is still debatable, as many believe that Milligan was a master fraud who misled the justice system in this way.


However, the main character of the Apple series is not Billy Milligan, but Danny Sullivan, who has a very similar sounding name, but not only the sound, but the basics of their story are the same: Sullivan is seen in a scene. Shooting in New York, he is then interrogated by a psychologist, where Danny tells the story in horrifying detail – the series illustrates this with mountains of flashbacks, flattening the story, which otherwise seems twisty at first. Danny tells of his troubled childhood, his stubborn and aggressive foster father, the girl who kicked him out, his classmates who beat him, and the mysterious Israeli man who took him into his home. This is where Ariana comes into the picture, a similarly mysterious girl who is sexually abused as a child and becomes the mastermind behind the crime, but in the end, Sullivan sits alone in an interrogation room with a psychologist, telling her about something. The Complete Series of Mysterious Men.

A crowded room Its biggest problem is that it pretends to hide a giant screw-up. It’s not the smartest ending for a true-crime story, we know what it’s made of, whose life it’s based on, and even if we don’t know all the details of Billy Milligan’s story beforehand, the most basic information is clear about the series from the start: Milligan escaped prison due to mental illness. However, Apple’s series presents all this as if it’s a big secret, like not seeing the person in the room jam even when he’s alone. In almost the first four episodes, there is a scene where the psychologist is about to tell Danny the truth, and the viewer sighs that the moment has finally arrived, but the confused boy shakes his head in disbelief. In many scenes, they not-so-subtly hint that each character is one of Danny’s personalities, but the series manages to present even these as a confusing scene.

Apple TV+

By definition, the solution to a poorly hidden puzzle must be sought in the past, so the series follows the simple structure of a psychologist and Danny talking, the former asking a question, and then we enter flashbacks from the young man’s distant perspective. , they speak more than enough. The ten-part structure allows Danny to watch a girl hang out for a long time or watch guys at school buy drugs.

What’s more, the series doesn’t treat its actors well either: so far Holland has been expected to have three different faces, but at least she does them well, with Seyfried’s incredibly bland psychologist written with only very quiet questions and a few eye-rolls. And Ross seems to Fouda As a commando, he would have engaged in bad shooting.

Apple TV+

And look A crowded room It doesn’t really live up to expectations, and in fact, based on four episodes, it’s not enough to devote another five or six hours to what would be a thoroughly average series experience if you had a lot of time. However, criticism in the international press has already taken Goldman’s series by storm. According to experts, the series has been criticized for portraying violent behavior in a particularly bad light, even though it has many effects such as amnesia and depersonalization. Outside – Gives a particularly harmful and misleading picture of a mental health problem.

Despite this, we may still be dealing with the fraud of the decade: the series may have slipped a lot, but it will shoot the joke before it ends, it will finally avoid being an annoyingly hot mess, and with this new series it will be able to start something worthwhile. Until then though A crowded room He abuses our patience and time.

The Crowded Room, 2023, new episode every Friday on Apple TV+. The review is based on four parts. 4/10

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