‘Under the Banner of Heaven‘ is a seven-part crime drama from Hulu and FX. Dustin Lance Black is the creator and showrunner. The show is based on a true crime book by Jon Krakauer which details the murders of Brenda Lafferty and her small child.
Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) and Detective Bill Taba (Gil Birmingham) are called to the house of a Mormon named Allen Lafferty (Billy Howle) where they find his wife Brenda (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and their young child murdered. They arrest Allen who has blood on his shirt. He begins rambling on about the LDS Church and how they were involved. Allen’s brothers Ron (Sam Worthington) and Dan (Wyatt Russell) have also seemingly disappeared, leading Pyre to question his own faith as more secrets are revealed.
The story of the crime was very interesting, but it also had flashbacks to early Mormon history to compare to the events of the protagonists. I know the book did this, but translating it to the screen was unnecessary. It definitely brought you out of the plot.
I would just like to say, Andrew Garfield is spectacular. He is an underrated actor and this miniseries certainly proves it. His playing the role of a police detective struggling with his faith because of a crime that directly contradicts it was incredible. I definitely think he should win some accolades for this performance.
The rest of the cast also does a good job. The actors and actresses portraying the family members were very good. Gil Birmingham was a good balance to the show and he brought a lot of gusto to the miniseries. Daisy Edgar-Jones definitely showed off her talent as the longsuffering wife of a husband with a struggling family.
There was this one scene I thought was kind of out of place. One of the wives confronts a brother who is harming his sister-in-law at a gas station and all of the men just stand by. I am curious why there were only men at the gas station. They have to get that Hollywood version of feminism mixed in to insult men, of course.
The themes in the show, faith versus fact, history versus the now, it was done very well. They try to throw in atheism as an alternative, but I yawned at this.
With this in mind, I found the miniseries to be engaging and enthralling. It definitely presented an intriguing case and look into the way religion can hurt or help a person, family, or community.
Check out the trailer below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Violence, Disturbing content
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