tue 25/02/2020

I Am Hannah, Channel 4 review - last in trilogy leaves us dangling | reviews, news & interviews

I Am Hannah, Channel 4 review - last in trilogy leaves us dangling

I Am Hannah, Channel 4 review - last in trilogy leaves us dangling

Gemma Chan stars as a woman agonising over mid-life choices

Going nowhere? Gemma Chan as Hannah

In the final instalment of Dominic Savage’s trilogy of stand-alone dramas for Channel 4, Gemma Chan took the title role of a single woman in her mid-thirties, struggling with awkward choices about motherhood, relationships and settling down. Her mother, despairing of ever having grandchildren, was urging Hannah to “make a plan and stick to it.”

That’s all very well, but how? Hannah experimented with online dating, but she felt like a fish out of water and it only confirmed her worst fears. One guy made it plain that he only wanted one thing, and he had no time for Hannah’s ditherings. “I don’t think you know what you want,” he snarled, realising their date wasn’t heading in the requisite wham bam, thank you ma’am direction. “I think you’re wasting my time.” Still, he wasn’t as bad as the bloke she met in a pub, who pounced on her as she came out of the Ladies and pressed her up against a wall.

Everywhere she turned, she kept bumping into ecstatic new mothers bouncing babies on their knees, when she wasn’t getting tearful watching schoolchildren playing in the park. Her mother, wearing a face like an antique death mask, kept issuing dire warnings about the horrors of being childless at 40. Hannah visited a fertility doctor, whose soothing manner couldn’t sugar-coat the fact that her chances of conceiving a child were approximately zero.

Yet, despite poignant close-ups of Chan’s face looking sorrowful, accompanied by woebegone background music, Hannah’s desires and motivations remained mysterious. She evidently had a good job, without being a highly-driven careerist. She complained angrily about the way women are forced to choose between work and motherhood, but didn’t seem sure whether she wanted either of them. James (Arinzé Kene, pictured above) was her most sympathetic suitor. As gloopy post-coital soul music played, he more or less guaranteed her endless love, but she didn’t like him enough to risk a commitment. This was a drama which left Hannah, and us, hanging in space and going nowhere.

Everywhere she turned, she bumped into ecstatic new mothers bouncing babies on their knee


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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