“The Little Drummer Girl” is a BBC TV show based on a book by John Le Carre about an actress hired by Israeli operatives to go undercover in the Palestinian terrorist cells in the 1970s. The series got my attention because it was directed by Park Chan-Wook (director of Stoker and Handmaiden, both of which I loved) and it starred Alexander Skarsgård and Michael Shannon, two actors I really like.
I am glad I watched the TV show. “The Little Drummer Girl” is a spy thriller, a captivating tale of Israeli and Palestinian conflict, which keeps the tension alive throughout the 6 episodes by developing a love story. One that is riddled with secrets and acting and sacrifices.
Charlie (wonderfully played by Florence Pugh, a newcomer, I believe, and a fantastic one) is recruited by Kurtz (a stoic, but committed Michael Shannon) to infiltrate a terrorist cell and gain info on its leader. The scam is put into motion and perfected with the help of Becker (Alexander Skarsgard), a secretive man with whom Charlie falls in love with. Since she is an actress by day, her job is to play the part of Salim’s lover (one of the bad guys) and get inside the organization.
I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say the story is very interesting and I really liked the idea of hiring an actress to do the job, and also how Becker, or Gadi, how she called him, helped her understand the situation and her character. It runs for 6 episodes and sometimes it is a bit dry and monotone, but the last two episodes are very captivating.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t blown away by the direction of it, and it’s weird, since Park Chan-Wook has such a special way of shooting. In this series he seemed to have a supporting role and to let the story and its characters do their job. It worked, but I keep wondering what would have happen if he would have been giving free reign.
In conclusion, if you’re into spy thrillers, you will love this show. If you liked Night Manager, another TV show based on a John Le Carre book, you will love this one, too. Give it a try!