Starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, The Undoing follows a wealthy New York therapist whose life is flipped upside down after her family is thrown into the middle of a classic murder mystery.
Taking the form of a typical murder mystery, The Undoing adopts a very consistently slow pace – giving it time to set up its characters, thrills and mysterious throughlines in engaging fashion over the 6-episode run. There’s not too much about the overall conceptual narrative that is too different from other murder mystery stories, but there are quite a few beats through the episodes that keep things fresh and keep you guessing as to what is happening. As far as the mystery element goes, it’s satisfyingly retained for the entire series – there’s no point where it becomes predictable in what is going to happen. The use of misdirects and the occasional red herring works wonders in keeping you enthralled in figuring out exactly what is going on, meaning it never dips drastically in quality.
At 6 episodes, it’s the perfect length for a story that probably couldn’t sustain any more episodes without becoming frustratingly repetitive. Being a series that was released weekly, the end-of-episode tags are great in creating some further intrigue into where things are going, flipping the script in some nice, creative ways. Every moment of each episode feels like it’s focused on furthering the mystery and there’s not much downtime that deviates from that – at least it doesn’t stick out. The tone of the series is consistently eerie, with it all feeling quite tense as the investigation continues to unravels and more details come to light. The story is good, engaging and does have some thrills, but the series is no doubt being held up by the strength of the lead performances.
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant carry this series on the back of their brilliant performances – both hammering home the more emotional moments and also the fear associated with being thrown into the middle of a murder case. Nicole Kidman shows off her acting prowess as she commands the screen in every episode, effectively conveying the wide variety of emotions her character is experiencing as she navigates this tough mystery. Her delivery is great and the chemistry she shares with almost every other character elevate all of those performances too. She has some great scenes alongside the young Noah Jupe, who plays the role of her son quite well in the fairly limited amount of scenes he’s in. Then there’s the wonderful Donald Sutherland who is a true masterclass in every scene. There are a number of scenes where he completely steals the show and delivers dialogue with such force that it leaves you speechless.
In the end, aside from the fact that the series is shot exquisitely, with very clean cinematography, there’s not too much else to say besides The Undoing is a very worthwhile watch. The performances from Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland are worth the price of admission alone, carrying their respective scenes with some absolutely stellar acting. The story is tense, engaging and keeps you guessing all the way through to the end – which is all you can want from a murder mystery. At a perfect 6-episode length, this is a must-see for anyone looking for a new mystery thriller to digest.