Quite simply, Beyond the Walls is an incredible piece of Euro TV and it’s a must-watch that’s worth binge-watching this weekend.
There is an inherent mystery in the Beyond the Walls (Au-delà des Murs) story, one that begins to unfold within minutes of the first of three episodes.
Lisa (Veerle Baetens, The Team, Cordon, Code 37) is a speech therapist at a hospital, an introverted thirty-something woman who uses an invented husband to keep coworkers at a safe distance. She also suffers from a recurring nightmare.
Directly across the street from her flat is a dilapidated old house, presumed empty but in which the body of a man dead 30 years is found. In life he was André Bainville, and he left Lisa the house in his will. “How can this be?” you might ask.
All I can say is, be patient.
Lisa, quite the handywoman, moves into the house, fixes the plumbing, and sledgehammers open the bricked-up fireplace. She also discovers that André Bainville was the author of a book entitled When You Get Lost.
Then she begins hearing sounds from behind the walls. Spooky sounds.
If Lisa were anyone else, she probably would have hightailed it out of the house and back to her flat pronto. But she is who she is and what she is, is curious. So with sledgehammer in hand, she breaks a large opening in the wall and enters the space behind it.
The passageway leads to a door that opens to room decorated similarly to the one she just left, save for the stairway that leads down to a candlelit room with a Victrola playing an old opera record… and the Minotaur-like being that beckons to her and follows her as she tries to find her way back to safety.
What, rather whom, she finds instead is Julien (François Deblock, Accidental Family, Je vous ai compris), a young man who befriends Lisa and helps them both to remain hidden from or run away from The Others, lest they meet the same fate as these evil beings.
As Lisa and Julien search for a way out, something that Julien shared with Lisa becomes more and more apparent: He has walked through the windowless house without ever having gone to the same room twice, because the house doesn’t conform to the known laws of space or time.
Apparently, neither does death inside the house.
And the house doesn’t want either Lisa or Julien to leave. Ever.
All of the production elements of Beyond the Walls — from the writing, acting, and directing, to the set design, cinematography, and score — combine to give viewers a sense of cinema on the small screen. Visually stunning and narratively intricate, the miniseries makes us virtual companions on Lisa’s journey and delivers one of the most rewarding endings one could hope for.
Created and written by Hervé Hadmar (who also directed) and Marc Herpoux (both of Witnesses and Pigalle, la Nuit), along with writer Sylvie Chanteux (A French Village, Plus belle la vie), Beyond the Walls features Golden Globes® nominee and multiple-award winner Geraldine Chaplin (Chaplin, The Orphanage) and Lila-Rose Gilberti (Montparnasse Bienvenue).
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