TW: sexual assault
It took me a few weeks to finish Unbelievable on Netflix.
The show tells the complicated true story of a young woman who was raped in the middle of the night. The police department in charge of her investigation completely failed her and if it weren’t for a different police department, in a different county, her case may have never been solved. If this is your first time hearing this story, then I urge you to read the article on it here. [Spoilers Ahead]
Truth is, I started the show on the day that it was released, but it was extremely difficult to get through and I had to stop about 30 minutes into it. This story forces you to look at a reality that a lot of victims face when choosing to go public about their attacks. You will feel frustrated by this show; you will fell anxious, you will want to scream at the television, you will have moments of relief, you will feel beaten down and it quickly becomes clear that Unbelievable is a necessary viewing experience.
The entire cast is phenomenal. Toni Collette as Detective Rasmussen is powerful. Merritt Wever as Detective Karen Duvall showcases a palpable kind of vulnerability. Annaleigh Ashford as another victim, Lilly Darrow, felt deliberate in her choices. Danielle Macdonald as another victim, Amber Stevenson caused a visceral response from me. A phenomenal cast led by another phenomenal woman: Kaitlyn Dever.
Kaitlyn Dever is a revelation in this and offers an extremely moving portrayal of Marie Adler. Kaitlyn used up every single second on screen to tell the story; whether with the dialogue or with every single nuance expressed with her body language. One scene in particular keeps replaying in my mind; it’s Marie Adler in an interrogation room with the two male detectives investigating her case. They’ve decided that she made up the assault and are convincing her to admit that she lied. Kaitlyn Dever has very few lines in the scene and yet, she completely takes over on screen. She delivers a gripping performance that feels rooted in truth. Kaitlyn Dever is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses to follow and she’ll be yours too as soon as you watch Unbelievable.
Often we watch television or go to the movies in order to escape the chaos of the real world and though I personally love doing that. It’s also important to watch content that brings the painful reality to the forefront. So yes, Unbelievable is extremely difficult to watch and my anxiety felt hard to contain during every single episode but this show is worth experiencing and I urge you to watch it on Netflix as soon as you can.