Director: John Hillcoat
Starring: Andrea Riseborough, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Andrew Gower, Anthony Welsh
A woman interviews various people using a device that allows her to access their memories. (Source: IMDb)
This is one of those Black Mirror episodes that is best to go into knowing as little as possible; such are the dark turns it takes that it would be a crime to spoil anything about it.
The IMDb description for this episode hardly does justice to where this episode ends up, but I will endeavour not to go much further than the main premise. Crocodile is an episode of two storylines; one of which is outlined in the overview, and the other of which becomes evident as soon as the episode begins.
Focusing on two initially unconnected storylines, we meet Mia Nolan (Andrea Riseborough) and insurance investigator Shazia (Kiran Sonia Sawar). Both give commanding performances, particularly Riseborough who builds on her wonderful supporting role in this year’s Battle of the Sexes, giving a calculating and emotionally rich performance in this chilling cat-and-mouse thriller.
A lot of Black Mirror episodes play around with genre, and Crocodile is no different; at times horror, at other times detective thriller, and ending on an unsettling yet darkly comedic note. The ending of this episode will leave you as cold as the bleak landscapes which make up the setting, and just when you think you know how it is going to end, it throws in another surprise.
The final 10-15 minutes of this episode completely took my breath away, and just at the point my interest was starting to wane because I felt like it was too predictable, it managed to throw in something totally unexpected, and beyond brilliant.
This episode may be one of the bleakest and darkest episodes of Black Mirror yet; completely lacking in any kind of morality but a fascinating exploration of a person’s psyche and the shocking things a person would do to hide the truth. It at times feels totally disconnected from anything, and it might leave some people cold by the end, but it is never anything less than totally thrilling and has some genuine gasp-out-loud moments. Never change, Black Mirror, never change!