Film | Mayday (2013)

Today, I’ve decided to take a slightly different route – the road less travelled, if you may. Mayday is a fictional story, but I love how it is set in a picturesque quiet town in the countryside. It’s the kind of place everyone dreams about travelling to. We love the quaintness such towns ooze. But, there is always something going on under the surface which a visitor might not be privy to and this British TV series breaks down that myth of the perfect small town – which can be anywhere in the world.

Hattie! Hattie! Haaaattttiiieeee!

A search party in the woods, looking for a 14-year-old May Queen, gone missing on the very day she were to play her part in the annual Mayday parade.

A quiet, picturesque town, where everyone seems to know and get along with each other… or do they?

“Community is a myth” states the tagline of this intense 5 part British series Mayday, and that just might be true.

It takes the disappearance of a local girl for a seemingly ideal town for it to come alive; alive with the skeletons each house-holds in its closets. With secrets-a-plenty, red herrings round every corner, and a new motive to dissect every episode, Mayday proves to be an entertaining and suspenseful watch that keeps the audience guessing about the events that have supposedly taken place and those which are about to happen.

As is the case with most TV series that rely heavily on the human aspect of the story, the cast plays a rather important and integral part of Mayday. Aidan Gillen, Peter Firth, Sophie Okonedo, Max Fowler, Leslie Manville, and Sam Spruell are most notable among the actors who give outstanding performances adding a whole new dimension to the personalities of the characters they play.

Mayday isn’t completely without fault. An in-depth look into the happenings leads to a few, although minor, loop holes in the plot. The episodes on the other-hand, in totality, have a varied interest curve, especially in the beginning as the story is being setup.

Once all the characters have been introduced, it is only then that the story becomes devilishly menacing complete with some darkly humorous moments. The last two episodes are a roller-coaster ride of emotions and events making up for the somewhat slow start of the series. Mayday’s shining moment though comes in the last half hour of the series as it moves towards what seems like a predictable culmination … or so it would have you thinking.

Mayday can be a tad slow for some, but get past the first two episodes and you are bound to get caught in this engrossing and wavering mysterious drama. It makes the most of its setting, that of a supposedly close knit neighbourhood with nooks and corners known only to locals and the seemingly simple life of a small town. That’s why the events have a more dramatic and unexpected effect.

What’s more, the next time you visit that beautiful petite village or town that you can’t stop raving about on Twitter or posting pictures on Instagram, you just might look at everyone a little different.

*cue mysterious music that fades away.

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