So Amber was fairly underwhelming. At the same time i was struck by echoes of similarity of suburban scenery and life in Amber with the recent 35 Diwrnod/ 35 Days. Amber also had an odd effect of appearing in style perhaps, to have an ongoing and serious similarity to an episode of the series Suspects.
The third instance is of similarity to the show Broadchurch. For these reasons i really kind of liked Amber. In spite of it being, much like the above mentioned shows, excruciatingly slow of pace sometimes. Of course all this is probably deliberate, to draw out the day to day pedestrian suffering of the characters. Shades of the First The Killing too: the concentration on the family.
This device, of close up writ real is supposed to be full of existential and tragic angst and fairly dripping with
an increased atmosphere. However Amber has the atmosphere of a Channel 5 day time tele-movie. With slightly BBC thriller lit in the daylight ( to be really dark) overtones.
The trouble is, in terms of a storyline, we have been here before. A story that has been told more harshly,
dramatically and horrifically, by many other shows already. Special Victims Unit in particular, back in the day. Numerous other .darkly loaded and hard hitting murder mysteries of same on the terrestrial channels.
There are also echoes of a real-life similar missing British child case.
Anyway, Amber is set in Ireland and concerns a young girl who goes missing. Her name is Amber.
To say more much as I’d like to, would be giving too much away. Suffice to say that there is a decidedly dishy Dad/ Step-Dad who is therefore instantly suspect.
Susan, the mother of the missing girl goes through several stages of shock and grief and anger and gets officially empowered. She ties her admirably silver frosted highlighted hair back. She has taken to wearing black.
Amber’s father/step-father sports a fetching Balfour/ leather biker style jacket. As only perennially handsome husbands do. Already piercing looks are being cast backwards at dishy Dad by young and preternaturally tall missing daughter’s friend. Hmm.
Of course all these official warning bells ringing as clues may only be red herrings instead, thrown in our path. So early on, it is possible. There are four episodes. So far the episode has shown the day that Amber goes missing from the point of view of her parents. Right at the end the drama leads us back to the last sighting and journey of Amber.
One would expect each episode on to slowly increase forward in time, on the day in question. When Amber went missing.
I will keep watching because i quite like tele-movies sometimes and the slight touch of 35 Diwnord suburban style about Amber is dramatically fresh. Slow going it may be.
The thing of interest in Amber for me was to note the irregular leaps and progression through the traditional number of days. En-tabulated on screen in old fashioned date boxes.
This was a twist on a well worn device and i enjoyed these interludes on screen. Better than wallpaper.
The font, if there is such a thing for numbers, was classically cool. The lighting of the numbers and their
squares was a symphony of pale neon pastel , blue and bright.
Amber maybe a grower. As it could grow on you like roses.
I have since learned that each episode is from a different point of view of a character. This first episode was entitled:
” Susan”, for the mother of Amber.
(trams trundle overhead)
The number goes from day 4 to 24, then 38. Then 38-62.
And so on.