Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Sugar is enjoyable throwback style mystery

Academy Award Nominee Colin Farrell returns his talents to the small screen in “Sugar” from Apple TV. Iconic screenwriter Mark Protosevich served as showrunner and wrote four episodes. Fernando Meirelles directs all episodes of the series. John Sugar (Farrell), an American private investigator, is investigating the mysterious disappearance of Olivia Siegel (Sydney Chandler).

Oliva is the beloved granddaughter of legendary Hollywood producer Jonathan Siegel (James Cromwell). While he is a die-hard movie buff, it takes some coaxing from his case manager, Ruby (Kirby), to agree to the case. As Sugar delves deeper into the case, he uncovers various Siegel family secrets, some recent while others have been buried for a long time.

Enthusiasts of classic Hollywood narratives would benefit significantly from the film “Sugar.” Colin Farrell’s performance in the movie elicits comparisons to iconic characters such as Sam Spade and Jake Gittes, with numerous callbacks to films featuring the characters above as leads. Farrell’s performance focuses on the essence of performance, with inspiration drawn from renowned cinematic idols. His interrogation techniques are executed with ease and emulate impeccably crafted personas.

The dual-level performance by Farrell in “Sugar” validates his previous Oscar nomination. The intricate layers of the story immediately capture the audience’s attention and reveal hidden love affairs, sexual improprieties, and familial conflicts embedded within the narrative’s core. The film’s methodology mirrors classic Noir masterpieces, with “Sugar” utilizing its unique genre framework to reveal nuanced human realities while highlighting cinema’s most influential tropes.

As we embark on a journey alongside the protagonist searching for a discovery, additional facets of his identity emerge beyond mere surface characterization. We delve deeper to uncover the motives that substantiate his existence in Los Angeles and his more significant purpose in the world. Although our lead, Farell, exudes charm, he cannot heroically rescue Sugar from the unfortunate mishaps that have caused many series to falter while attempting to breathe new life into the noir genre.

The success of such a show hinges on dynamic character exchanges and interactions. It is remarkable how much such aspects contribute to the show’s success. However, the lack of a satisfying ending leaves little room for complete immersion in Protosevich’s world. Nevertheless, it is difficult to dispute that “Sugar” exemplifies what superior television can accomplish, mainly when driven by a passionate writing team willing to take risks and actors who are unafraid to swing big.

 Final Grade: B

“Sugar’ is streaming now on Apple TV

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