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There is no denying the extraordinary efforts that the creators have employed to make this prestige piece a can't miss proposition for adult audiences. With beautiful production values, vivid lead performances and an incredibly literate script from premiere playwright Tom Stoppard, "Parade's End" presents a powerful, but not overstated, character journey set against the backdrop of World War I.Read more ›
The stoic and admirable character of Christopher Tietjens is beautifully played by Benedict Cumberbatch and without question, one of his best roles. He shows such pain in the situations faced - whether it be the result of being honorable or often being caused by his manipulative wife, Sylvia, played by the stunning Rebecca Hall. You cannot help but loathe her character due to all of the crap she pulls on everyone. But in the same breath, you also feel some pity for her - the obvious desperation to be needed and loved by the one man she cannot - maybe even shouldn't - have. Then in walks Valentine Wannop - a kindred spirit to Tietjens and against what is "right", you're rooting for them to be together.
The characters were fantastic and the story is captivating - along with Mr. Cumberbatch's sultry baritone voice. Parade's End offered a view into a time where honor, duty, shame and freedom were completely different than that of today. And after you're done watching - there's this wistfulness of a simpler and more nobler day lingering.
If you enjoy historical fiction (Pride & Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl, Persuasion, etc.) - you will most definitely enjoy Parade's End.
Rebecca Hall is a force, and the rest of the cast is fantastic. Yes it's a bit uneven at times but just go with it - it's worth the ride. This is not a comfy "sit back and be spoon fed" piece by any means. The characters are so layered and complex that you really feel you know them.
After watching Parade's End I saw Benedict in Star Trek - and he was no where NEAR as impressive/appealing without Ford/Stoppards beautiful words and clear motivations. True - he's an actor who can make just about anything he says sound good - but why should he have to? Parade's End is in a word - DELICIOUS!!
The physical changes in Cumberbatch's character over the 10 years of this are at times a bit jarring, but it is 10 years, and he is playing a fat, clumsy, ugly, blond Yorkshireman - if you can imagine. (He does get "prettier" as it goes on - if that's important to you).
After I watched this - I picked up the audio of all 4 of Ford's books (42 hours). The detail, stream of consciousness content, backstory, and follow up are whip cream with a cherry. I highly recommend it! Tom Stoppard did a masterful job of capturing the books in his script - as I could NEVER have figured out what was going on in the books had I not seen this first. Talk about jumping around...
Personally, Parade's End is my clear #2 (for Cumberbatch) - right behind 2004 BBC's Hawking - with the dazzling Sherlock at #3. It really is that good.
Also note - that the 6 negative reviews right now are all technical/operator problems that have nothing to do with the content. This should have more stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very well made mini series. It is well worth the cost. Excellent dialogue, lavish sets and perfect English diction.Published 4 hours ago by None
Though the acting was very good, costumes and scenery terrific, this particular mini series left a feeling of lacking. Read morePublished 19 hours ago by elsa wark
Tedious beyond tolerance. I watched the first one and a half episodes and just had to shut it off. It's not as if I don't like British dramas, even slow-paced melodramas focused on... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Arbitrator
Interesting 5 part miniseries from HBO. I bought this being a Downton fan, reading that it was similar, a bit rougher. Read morePublished 4 months ago by See Sea
I bought this on the strength of the reviews and for Cumberbatch's reputation. I also like British films and period film, so I figured there would be lots here to love. Read morePublished 4 months ago by taaj