DVD: Buried (2003)
Lee Kingsley (Lennie James) begins a 10 year sentence for a firearms offence and grievous bodily harm. What the fellow prisoners and staff don’t know, is that he was protecting a member of his family from a violent criminal.
Feeling depressed when his appeal is turned down, he gets himself ejected from the drugs-free unit and into the main prison. This is where his life begins to spiral out of control in a torrent of lies, mis-guided decisions, and brutal mental and physical abuse.
Buried is a hard hitting (in every sense of the phrase!) drama which depicts the existence of those incarcerated within the fictional HMP Mandrake in a gritty and realistic way, and will have you wanting to have a shower upon completing each episode…a shower where you thankfully won’t have to be on your guard for being attacked…unlike those in this great series.
The acting is superb throughout its entire 8 episodes, and I have to admit to having a big smile when Connor McIntyre appeared as CM Martin Steddon. It is testament to his acting that all thought of Phelan (the bad guy he plays in Coronation Street) were wiped from my mind within minutes of him making his appearance.
While Lennie James adorns the box art and gets top billing in the show, Buried is indeed an ensemble piece as various characters come and go throughout the series. Some may see this as a negative whereby more time could be given to certain characters to flesh out their story, but I found that it added to the tension as you were never really sure if/when any character could come to the end of their story arc…and if it would be a violent end! This is made even more tense as the acting is superb from every member of the cast, and the script draws you in to have empathy for characters that are initially ‘unsavoury’ to say the least!
The narrative twists and turns through to the final few minutes of the last episode, and as different characters are introduced and lives are intertwined to various degrees, you are constantly on the edge of your seat as to what may happen next, as layer upon layer of intrigue, lies and heartbreak are played out before you.
Originally broadcast by Channel 4 late at night, Buried is a series that has been criminally (no pun intended) overlooked. This DVD release by Simply Media is the perfect opportunity for you to settle back and immerse yourself into life at HMP Mandrake. Just be thankful that you can press the ‘stop’ button and escape its walls with ease.
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