Liaison Review: A contemporary thriller that explores the issues and the possible devastating consequences of past mistakes on our future. The action series features an unexpected and complex narrative intertwined with political and spy intrigue, with the story of a passionate and unwavering love.
LIAISON SERIES REVIEW
As part of laws obliging streaming platforms to produce more European productions, several audiovisual fictions have appeared on our platforms lately. After the examples of Netflix, Amazon Prime (with Coeur Noir at the beginning of this month) and Disney+, it is up to Apple TV+ to now launch into French production.
The first French television series on the platform, alongside Ted Lasso, Severance and Pachinko, is called Liaison. Written by Virginie Brac, a novelist who is also known for her talents as a screenwriter for Engrenages and Cheyenne & Lola, this series revives a genre that has become popular again thanks to the Bureau des Légendes: the spy thriller. In addition to the “fatal liaison” between Vincent Cassel and Eva Green, it will mainly be a question of diplomatic crisis and conspiracy.
It is important to emphasize that Liaison is the result of a Franco-British co-production. With an impressive international cast: Vincent Cassel and Eva Green form the main couple, alongside Peter Mullan, Irène Jacob, Bukky Bakray (the revelation of Rocks), Gérard Lanvin, Daniel Francis and Laëtitia Eïdo.
Created and written by Virginie Brac, and directed by Stephen Hopkins (who notably filmed the adventures of Jack Bauer in 24 Heures Chrono, a serial reference of the genre), the series immerses us in the heart of diplomatic relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom as a succession of cyberattacks hit England.
British and French forces are in a race against time to find the sponsors of these attacks with the only lead: a Syrian refugee hacker who has all the information on a USB key.
In this register, the series carefully respects the codes of the spy series. Without the ambition to dust off the genre, it offers fairly classic entertainment. Government crisis cells, muscular infiltrations in secret places, sleight of hand and betrayals are at the rendezvous of these episodes.
We find the same bingesque energy that the effective geopolitical series Bodyguard possessed a few years ago. If the series starts on a rather slow tempo and lends itself to deja-vu, the rise in tension ends up winning us over very quickly over this viewing.
And this is due to the eponymous key element of the series: the Liaison. Behind an obvious symbolism, which parallels international political conflicts to those between human beings, the series maintains our interest by the multiple relationships revealed throughout.
Like the first words of the mythical song Teardrop by Massive Attack which returns like a leitmotif in the series (Love, love is a verb // Love is a doing word // Fearless on my breath), whether they are in love or professional, these relationships will be what will push the characters to act and interest us. The chemistry between Vincent Cassel and Eva Green works, as such, very well on screen.
If the series can fish in these dialogues and an exaggeration in the characterizations of the characters (the character of Stanislas Merhar, with the actions of antagonists which can sometimes break with the realistic framework of the series…), it nevertheless knows how to pose as a thriller entertaining and intelligent politics.