Chloe review – Erin Doherty is outstanding in this social media thriller | Television & radio
I I have dedicated my entire existence to eliminating uncertainty, stress and anxiety in all possible forms. So there’s nothing more compulsively observable to me than someone not only rushing to embrace these things at every turn, but actively creating them – pumping their lives so full of elation and potential catastrophe that it threatens to explode at the slightest touch.
If you feel the same, make yourself comfortable – or rather, sit on the edge of your seat and prepare to fall well before the end credits – and enjoy the masterful portrayal of such a thrill seeker. in the rather wonderful Chloe (from the BBC). BBCOne). It’s a fierce, fresh kind of murder mystery that’s as well scripted as it is paced, and whose many threads are held firmly together by an outstanding performance from Erin Doherty.
First (correctly) seen as Princess Anne in The Crown, Doherty here plays Becky, a quiet 20-something living with a mother with early dementia. When she’s not at one of her temp office jobs, she spends her time obsessively browsing the social media accounts of Chloe (Poppy Gilbert), another 20-something, who seems to be living a much more successful and glamorous than her.
It is soon revealed, however, that Becky has found a way to brighten up her dull and (as her mother becomes increasingly erratic and hurtful) increasingly miserable life – namely, by faking several others instead. . She is basically a crook. We watch with more or less grudging admiration as she skims snippets of information, dates, names on invitations and overheard snippets of conversation as she gets first a foothold and then a solid entry into the art world.
Her affliction takes a sudden turn, however, when the object of her obsession dies – apparently by suicide, preceded by a moving quote posted to Chloe’s Instagram account, then confirmed by heartbroken posts from friends below. . Armed with a plausible backstory, a more fitting name (Sasha), and a designer coat she lifted from a peg on her way out of the office, Becky gradually sinks into the scene. She secretly watches the funeral, researches online, and befriends Livia (Pippa Bennett-Warner), one of the bereaved posters and Chloe’s closest friend, to learn more about the unorganized version of Chloe’s life and the circumstances of her death. Another motivation is Becky’s slightly sociopathic instinct to meet any emotional or practical need presented to her.
The kaleidoscope twists again when we realize there’s a buried connection between Chloe and Becky so great that Becky was, in fact, the last person Chloe called – twice – before she died. Add further complications via one-night stand Josh (played by Brandon Micheal Hall with a perfect combination of amused detachment enriched with a bit of fear, as he realizes there can be so much more for the woman he knows as “Helena” than he ever suspected), and you have an absolute feast of a spectacle.
Created, written and directed by Sex Education alum Alice Seabright, it has much of that show’s fleet brilliance and charm, though the subject matter couldn’t be more different. The central plot builds and is never forgotten, but the real tension comes in seeing how far Becky can go – how big of a house she can build with stolen business cards, how many plates she can keep spinning , how far she can go with that jazz riff of a lifetime and always get back to it. On top of that, it’s a drama that examines the ever fascinating chasm between the haves and the have-nots, and the increasingly common chasm that runs through this – between perceived figures (all filtered and layered shots presented to the public consumption) that seem to win effortlessly over life and the tattered and very different realities behind them.
It’s vital for a drama about false identities and shifting truths that there isn’t a single wrong note. That’s not to say everything is extremely likely (although before deciding how impossible the events of Chloe might be, check out Netflix’s upcoming factual drama about Anna Delvey, Inventing Anna, if you haven’t already put on highlight everything you can about the most extraordinary con man of modern times). But you understand what drives Becky, with all her gifts – whose useful expression is truncated by circumstance and crammed into a life that promises only to get smaller – to take the risks she takes and thrive. thanks to them. Hopefully she gets away with everything – then joins Villanelle in Rome.