The Stranger – Streaming Short Take

Short Take: A term from the film industry that means something that only takes a short time.

Reel Dialogue Short Take

A short review of a series with potential discussion points

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Synopsis: The Stranger is based on Harlan Coben’s novel of the same name. The latest Netflix series out of the UK that follows Adam Price (Richard Armitage), who seems to have the ideal life with a beautiful marriage and two sons who adore him. Then one day he is approached by a stranger, a young woman comes up to him in a bar and reveals a shocking secret about Price’s wife, Corinne (Dervla Kirwan). As his life begins to unravel, Adam must determine the truth about his wife, his life and the world he thought he knew. 

Short take: After reading Coben’s book, this reviewer was looking forward to this series, but it turns out to be another unhappy show depicting the brokenness of the world. This show proves that the pain we inflict on others and the dysfunction of our relationships has again provided fodder for another binge-able show. The eight-part mini-series is chaotic and thrilling, telling interwoven stories of lies and their effects. 

Adam is not the only character on a search for truth, interwoven in are webs of lies which connect and ultimately destroy relationships between the characters. There are story threads that involve stolen money, secret children and even an alpaca head. Each of these elements seems to be disconnected. Still, they do manage to wreak havoc on the relationships of the series characters. Each person’s lives prove to be a painful web of lies and bizarre interconnectivity. All leading to the series conclusion with characters continuing to lie to one another and while the story may seem resolved, things never really end. 

Reel Dialogue: What is the problem with lies? 

This Netflix series is based on various layers of lies that eventually spiral out of control. Each fabrication ruins the relationships of each individual in the story and eventually, they lead to the death of someone or something. The character of the stranger comes in as a sort of anti-messiah figure seeking to reveal the truth. 

Did you realise that this The Bible tells a similar story and the negative impact of lying? At the beginning of time, in the garden of Eden, a lie was told about God by the serpent. The lie that God did not really love his people, that he was not generous and did not want what was best for humanity. This first lie spiralled out of control and still has implications in our world today. 

The original lie resulted in the breakdown of relationships between humans and ultimately brought about death. Interestingly, there is a similarity between the stranger and the person of Jesus. He came to reveal the truth about us and the truth about our relationship with God. But unlike the stranger, Jesus’ revelation of truth is good and comes with a message of redemption and forgiveness. His truth reveals ultimately leads from the path to death to the only way to life.