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Review: “Under the Bridge”

“Under the Bridge” is a gripping true crime drama that delves deeply into the tragic murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk in Victoria, British Columbia. This series, based on Rebecca Godfrey’s book, explores the complex web of social issues and personal struggles that culminated in this horrific event.

Riley Keough shines as Rebecca Godfrey, a journalist returning to her hometown to write about the troubled teens of her past. Keough’s portrayal of Rebecca is both haunting and compelling, drawing viewers into her mission to honor Reena’s life and uncover the truth behind her death. Her nuanced performance captures Rebecca’s internal struggles and her empathetic approach to the teens involved in the tragedy.

Disney+/Hulu Limited Series Under the Bridge Image

Lily Gladstone, fresh off her acclaimed role in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” delivers a powerful performance as Cam Bentland, the local cop leading the investigation. Gladstone brings a tender earnestness to the role, portraying Cam’s determination to seek justice for Reena while grappling with her own past traumas. Her chemistry with Keough is electric, adding depth to their shared scenes and highlighting the personal stakes involved in the case.

The series does an exceptional job of centering Reena Virk’s story, portraying her as a complex and relatable teenager navigating the pressures of adolescence and her strict family expectations. Vritika Gupta’s portrayal of Reena is heartbreaking, capturing the young girl’s vulnerability and her desire to fit in. Chloe Guidry also stands out as Josephine Bell, a teen whose bravado masks a deep-seated fear and desperation. Guidry’s performance is both mesmerizing and chilling, showcasing the duality of Josephine’s character.

Disney+/Hulu Limited Series Under the Bridge Image

“Under the Bridge” succeeds in shedding light on the broader social issues at play, examining the systemic failures that allowed such a tragedy to occur. The show delves into the psyche of teenage bullying, not as a spectacle, but as a tragic reality with devastating consequences. The inclusion of Indigenous history through Cam’s character adds another layer of depth, addressing the complex intersections of identity and trauma in a sensitive and impactful manner.

While the series is filled with emotional moments and strong performances, it occasionally struggles to maintain its pacing over eight episodes. Some viewers may find the procedural elements and numerous red herrings detract from the overall impact of the narrative. However, the heartfelt performances and the poignant portrayal of Reena’s story make “Under the Bridge” a compelling watch for true crime enthusiasts and those interested in the human cost of such tragedies.

Trailer:

 

How To Watch:

United States:
Episodes 1 & 2 of Under the Bridge is available to watch on Hulu now. New episodes of the series will be released weekly, every Wednesday, for a total of 8 episodes with the finale airing on May 29.

Canada:
The series will premiere with one episodes on Wednesday, May 8 on Disney+ in Canada, followed by new episodes weekly.

Tom Hedley
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