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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Taboo: My Thoughts

   Anyone besides me got chills from the FX premiere of Taboo? Every scene mesmerized me (at least the scenes with Tom Hardy and not just because I'm physically attracted to him). It was dark in setting, raw and unapologetic in dialogue and characters and the actors were chosen well. 

Tom Hardy giving me the eye... oh wait I think
it's the evil eye

      How can you not love Tom Hardy? He makes you laugh, scares you, and melts your insides with his skills (and his voice let's not forget that). He does his best with dark, cynical characters grappling with emotional and mental issues. Tom plays James Keziah Delaney, basically a prodigal son return home for the funeral of his father only to find the East India Trading Company trying to muscle in on his inheritance. James is rough, disturbed and doesn't take shit. Though James puts up a front in his private moments he's barely holding it together. He sees the ghosts of his past and is haunted by demons from all the sins he committed for the East India Trading Company. Tom Hardy is spell binding in his role. He's got that intensity down and you can't help but be afraid as well as fascinated with him and his character. You know you shouldn't care for such a damned soul but you do because Tom Hardy lets you see some of James's vulnerabilities. He's a hard man but broken inside. He's an outsider and stranger in his homeland. Feral and yet controlled, walking a thin line between sanity and total madness.

Tom Hardy was watching Game of Thrones and thought:
"Huh. So incest is in..."

     James also seems to have an unnatural love for his half-sister Zilpha. She says she's happily married but you can tell the opposite even before James crashes his father's funeral. There's a coldness there. But you can see why Zilpha's trying to convince not only James but herself it seems that James and Zilpha had surrendered to temptation to each other's and (my theory is) had a son prompting James to leave either by his own choice or because his father found out and banished him (well the show is called "Taboo" what's more taboo than incest?). And award for Biggest Dead Beat Dad goes to... James Delaney. He is confronted by his bastard son's foster father who complains he hasn't been paid for raising the kid for 10 years. James gives the foster family a sack of money for "past, present, and the future" that last word emphasized as James doesn't want to be bothered with this again. 

In his private moments James sinks into
a murky darkness of self loathing & guilt

     Still he takes a look at his kin (his son maybe). He doesn't want to meet him but is happy to just take a look once then never see him again. There is a tenderness there as James watches the boy doing chores. "Put some money aside for his future if he's rash... like me." Sort of a sadness you see in James followed by an immediate retreat back into his armor. Yet James won't apologize for being in love with his sister as he tells her at the wake, "One thing Africa didn't cure is that I still love you." That's going to be interesting especially since in the promo for future episodes Zilpha is on her half-brother's door step in the pouring rain one night. Hmmmm...

James Delaney would be the best pimp.
He's got that swagger

      The show's your basic classic revenge story with a supernatural twist. The overall setting is visually stunning with death/underworld imagery to paint the horrific picture. The opening sequence has a horror-movie aspect that draws you in with it's creepiness. The show uses disturbing imagery of dark, dirty alleyways, neglected mansions and crypts to sell the theme of Death which feels constant as we enter the underworld of London society. I feel the other theme is confronting one's sins. They catch up with you and the dead don't stay buried whether metaphorically or literally. 

Tom Hardy in a loin cloth? Sign me up!
       This show has worked it's voodoo magic on me. I love Taboo! Tom Hardy, the cast and crew have done a wonderful job. Every part of this show will send cold chills creeping up your spine and tickle your love of thrillers (and Tom Hardy). 

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