An Eye for Detail

Radha Mitchell and Rupert Graves in Sacrifice (2016)

After suffering a miscarriage Dr. Tora Hamilton (Radha Mitchell) and her husband Duncan (Rupert Graves) leave New York and relocate to the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland where Duncan grew up. Immediately finding work at a local hospital Tora and Duncan, with the help of Duncan's father Richard (David Robb) set about adopting an unwanted child. But Tora also discovers the body of a dead woman buried in the peat surrounding their home when she goes about digging a hole to bury a dead cow. Not only do they find runes carved in to her skin but the police discover that her heart had been cut out of her body whilst Tora believes who ever she was had not long given birth. Whilst others tell her to let the police deal with the investigation she can't help but dig in to things and a legend which she discovers about the area.

I have a distinct feeling that when they decided to make "Sacrifice" they did so with the intention of appealing to a TV crowd, the sort of audience who enjoyed "Silent Witness" as it has that feel to it when it comes to the look, characters and writing. And maybe for those who enjoyed "Silent Witness" this ends up a much more engaging drama with the character of Tora drawing them in. But it didn't draw me in and at times it pushed me away with some of that annoying floating, supposedly organic camera work which can make you feel nauseated by the way the camera is never able to stay still.

Radha Mitchell in Sacrifice (2016)

But it isn't just the styling which did little for me but also the mystery of the woman who died as once again the clues are there and easy to see if you pay attention. Now maybe it is just me, maybe having watched and reviewed more movies than many would watch in a whole lifetime things are more apparent but right from the initial meeting between Tora, Duncan and the lawyer who was arranging the adoption I realised something. And that was a clue which was dropped and focussed upon so much that it was impossible not to spot it and put two and two together.

Unfortunately the issues continue and unsurprisingly when Tora decides to play amateur detective and start digging around in to old medical records she finds herself sticking her nose in where it's not wanted and so starts to be followed and so on. Everything about this is so completely text book TV thriller that you have to be a big fan to really enjoy it. Sadly I wasn't a big fan and even the star power of Radha Mitchell and Rupert Graves is unable to lift it. In truth the best thing about "Sacrifice" are the various locations it was shot at although I know that some of this was shot in Ireland rather than purely on the Shetland Islands.

What this all boils down to is that "Sacrifice" might work for some with it's made for TV drama which for me has a touch of "Silent Witness" about it. But it is such a routine and at times unsubtle thriller that it becomes a procession through the obvious till the inevitable outcome arrives.

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