A friend or a critic recommended “Torn” so it was on my ‘to watch’ list, but Glen and I couldn’t find it in our streaming services. Through Prime we signed up for a 30 day free trial of PBS Masterpiece; “Torn” is in this library of shows and movies.
TORN (Soupçons) ♦♦♦♦½
The six-episode French drama starts off somewhat like a Hallmark movie, with a foundation of thwarted adolescent love that’s rekindled 20 years later. Beautiful to watch, the show features the verdant landscape of Provence, pleasing architecture, arresting interiors — bold blue walls, bright yellow chairs, deep red accents — and a remarkably attractive cast, superb actors all, notably one of the leads, Bruno Debrandt (Florent), recognizable as Brémont in a favourite French series “Spiral.”
The title could refer to the lovers, Victoire and Florent, being torn in their decision to be unfaithful to their respective spouses. But the translation of soupçons as ‘suspicions’ better suits the story. The clandestine romance causes unexpected twists; the plot thickens — Florent’s wife Marion disappears — then thickens again. Our minds go to work in solving the mystery. Florent is the prime suspect, and the narrative advances in trying to prove him the guilty culprit. But along the way Victoire’s husband, the police chief investigating the case, behaves suspiciously. So does a former lover of Marion’s, and her father. Plus others. Our suspicions multiply.
“Torn” balances elements of the romance and thriller genres, with shades of film noir in the mix. The primary focus of the show is not the crime; it’s the collateral effects of the affair on the villagers, including the two lovers’ children (thankfully, not of the improbably precocious variety who can be annoying distractions in some shows). No more spoilers. We enjoyed our stopover in southeastern France. In fact my viewing partner awards it a high rating of ♦♦♦♦.
P.S. Now we’re visiting Cornwall in a late 18th century drama, “Poldark”, also on PBS Masterpiece. This subscription is proving beneficial, while not adding a new expense to our entertainment budget!