Mindhunter is a crime thriller series adapted from the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. The series was created by Joe Penhall with the help of the renowned filmmaker David Fincher and actress Charlize Theron. The series is more of a true story interspersed with fiction.
Two detectives Bill Tench and Holden Ford interrogate serial killers across the country to get an insight of their behavioural patterns and to use these findings in their ongoing investigation. They are from a branch of FBI named Behavioural Science Unit and are accompanied by Dr. Wendy Carr (a psychologist who decodes the mental changes in the killers).
Season 1 showed them interrogating various killers who were a nightmare for people. Each serial killer had their own kind of preps and executions. So, Season 1 puts in a database where they classified serial killers into various categories. This season was set in 1977 -80 where serial killing was not even heard about. This was the early stages of criminal psychology and profiling in FBI. These detectives devised the system of interrogating these killers, so that they could get into their shoes. To solve a crime, they had to think like them. They were clueless about how to do it and these interrogations enlightened them. Season 1 ended with these interrogations causing a mental disturbance in one of the detectives.
David Fincher, Andrew Dominik and Carl Franklin
Season 2 followed a similar setup but provided something more – the challenge to implement their studies and solve a gruesome ongoing murder. They find it difficult to balance their professional and personal life. The pressure of the public also created an imbalance in their mental state. This season was about how inspite of solving an ongoing case with their insights, the killer managed to dodge every trap laid leaving the detectives clueless.
One of the best features of this series was their interrogation scenes. Like every interrogation scene, it was within a four walled room with the interrogator and the perpetrator. Here even though with good production and spot on colour grading, it was the meticulously written dialogues and lucid filming of the filmmaker that stood apart in those scenes.
The dialogues were written in such a way that the audience realised that the characters were playing a game of chess through their wordplay. Since most of these killers were mentally unstable and victims of childhood trauma, one wrong move could create chaos. Unlike in other crime thriller series or movies, there was no actual depiction of any cold-blooded crimes. But the creators had done something better and brilliant, they let the killers explain their method in detail. This made the viewers picturise the crime and understand the nature of the crime which was more disturbing than the depiction.
The pace is slow, making it more natural and realistic- a slow burn. Every actor cast as the serial killers look more like the original ones. This complements the realistic take in the series. The acting performances of Jonath Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv as leads is spectacular. The filmmakers David Fincher, Andrew Dominik and Carl Franklin have done an impeccable job of understanding the viciousness of these remorseless killers and the strength of the screenplay. The background score by Jason Hill is mystifying enough to keep the viewers guessing all through the series.
One of the best Netflix Series
Overall, Mindhunter is a near perfect crime thriller series and can be considered the best or one of the best Netflix Series. It keeps the audience enthralled with the powerfully written and articulated high end drama.
The end result – the viewers will feel as if they have a good knowledge of psychology and criminal backgrounds.
RATING – 4.75/5
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