Starring: Ayelet Zurer, Jonah Lotan, Micha Celektar, Dar Zuzovsky, Yoav Rotman, Mickey Leon, Hilla Vidor, Tomer Kapon, Nevo Kimchi, Ido Bartal, Shmil Ben Ari
Run Time: 375 minutes
There’s definitely no shortage of suspenseful dramas on our TV screens, but Hostages (Bnei Aruba) really catches the imagination and it did the same for Hollywood too, as the storyline was sold before the actual show had even aired. But how does Israel’s Hostages play out, and does it sit up there with the other similar dramas in the genre right now?
Hostages follows the story of Dr Yael Danon, a distinct member of her field, who has been asked to perform minor surgery on the Prime Minister. But a group infiltrate the home of Danin’s family, and keep them all hostage. The only way that they will be let go is if Yael kills the Prime Minister when she performs the surgery.
What we think is a hostage situation turns into something much deeper, and we start to see the underlying problems of the Danon family. While Yael is a doctor, her husband Eyal is battling bad financial situations, while her daughter Noa discovers that she is pregnant and her son Assaf is battling between being popular and being expelled. We even start to discover the unravelling of our kidnappers too, with betrayal, backstabbing and second thoughts all taking the forefront of their work relationship.
At times you do find yourself scoffing at the storylines themselves. For example, we see that Yael still manages to go on her every day life, but somehow manages to go off a tangent and discover information about one of the kidnappers (including his daughter, ex job and his terminally-ill wife). For someone supposedly being monitored, she discovers quite a bit. If you do not have any imagination, this show will definitely not be for you.
But the key thing that sets Hostages apart from all the other dramas is the fact that they manage to keep an absolute absurd storyline real. Thankfully, overdramatic soundtracks are kept to a minimal and the action sequences are the same, so we rely on the characters to tighten up the tension and it works. Take Ayelet Zurer’s performance as Yael for example, it’s easily one of the best dramatic performances in television over the last year. She captures the scared but headstrong aura of Yael and you cannot take your eyes off her throughout. Her protagonist has flaws, the same way we find the human side of our kidnappers. We start to see that the kidnappers do not want the Prime Minister deceased for personal gain, it falls much deeper than that and we even start to witness Yael changing her morals to fit theirs.
Hostages is an intense thrill from beginning to end. The show makes you earn your right for a satisfying ending, but it still keeps you on your toes right to the last set of end credits. So go buy this series on DVD and have the perfect binge watch session because it completely deserves all your attention.
[usr=4] Hostages is released on Monday 16th March on DVD. Buy it here.