Thursday the 12th is a made-for-British television drama that examines the same story through the eyes of four main characters:
Marius Bannister (Ciaran Hinds), an affluent dentist and up-and-coming politician
Nina Bannister (Maria Doyle Kennedy), his unhappy wife
Candice Hopper (Elizabeth McGovern), Nina’s conniving sister-in-law
Martin Bannister (Jim Sturgess) Marius and Nina’s adopted son.
The film is split into four segments beginning on the day of a swanky party scheduled to take place at the Bannister home. We know from a news report on the morning after the big party that someone in the Bannister household has died under suspicious circumstances; we just don’t know who or how….
Each of the film’s four segments reveals the events of Thursday 12th from early morning until the party that evening. With each segment told through the viewpoint of a different character, we get four slighty different versions of the same events. For example, in one segment, we see Nina running off, but we have no idea where she goes. This information is revealed in a subsequent segment. Also there’s the ‘he said/she said’ scenario. We see the world according to Marius, and then we see his wife’s side of things.
This presentation of alternate ‘truths’ works fairly well for most of the film, but some of it becomes rather repetitive since we go through more-or-less the same incidents four times. While we get the occasional bombshell or revelation through each new telling of the tale, for the most part, the segments are too alike, and after the second segment (Nina’s), I became a bit bored. Also if the ‘he said/she said’ aspects could have been emphasized, the film would have been more intriguing. This tactic would have pursued the idea of exactly what the ‘truth’ is a bit more, but as it stands, Candice (a highly unpleasant character), for example, is unpleasant in all the sequences. We have her number in the first segment, and that really doesn’t change–even when Candice tells her own story! Marius and Nina’s versions had some nice contrasts, but Ithink the film fell down on Candice’s version. Also, there was also a storyline regarding Marius’s relationship with a patient that took up a chunk of the plot but went nowhere.
If you enjoy British television and/or mysteries, Thursday the 12th is worth catching, but I found it less than engrossing–interesting, decent entertainment, but nothing I’d care to see again. Ultimately, all the main characters were a fairly unpleasant selfish lot of tossers, and the four segments became too repetitive to justify their inclusion. From director Charles Beeson.