He That Hath an Ear – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Tremor – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Finger Of God – | Review Score – 4/5
Trial – | Review Score – 3.5/5
So That Seeing They May Not See – | Review Score – 3.5/5
We Will Not All Sleep – | Review Score – 4/5
It Came to Pass as It Was Spoken – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Force Majeure – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Wages of Sin – | Review Score – 4/5
God Is Greater – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Messiah is one of Netflix’s first new shows of the year and the streaming giant has started 2020 off pretty strongly with this latest drama. Having been dubbed as one of the more controversial releases this year, Messiah staves off these claims with an intriguing and engaging premise but also one that’s respectful with its slant on religion. It may not be the perfect, and there’s quite a few elements that feel similar to Homeland, but Messiah’s original idea and some solid performances make this show worth checking out, with plenty of twists and explosive scenes during its 10 episodes run-time.
The story begins in Syria and follows proclaimed prophet Al-Masih as he makes his way from the Middle East to the United States, gaining more and more followers on the way as he manipulates and performs miracles to impress the world. Running parallel to this is CIA agent Eva Geller, who finds herself determined to uncover the truth, believing him to be an imposter. Another agent in Israel, Aviram, also finds himself on his case after an emotional run in early in the season.
While Messiah starts off a little slow with its opening few episodes, the show does pick up the pace as it crosses the halfway point, adding some urgency and a few shocking plot developments to the fold. The story is definitely interesting, keeping you constantly guessing just whether Al-Masih is the real thing or just a very clever man and a master of illusion. This is cleverly handled with each passing episode, giving more clues behind the enigmatic man and leading to a decent ending that should keep you debating for a while when the final credits roll.
The performance from the actors here is certainly worth mentioning. In particular, Mehdi Dehbi portrays his role perfectly, shows us a charismatic and believable character that may or may not be the new Messiah. Michelle Monaghan does a great job too as a CIA agent with a troubled past but throwing herself into her work, determined to get to the bottom of what she believes is a very elaborate and dangerous hoax.
There were some impressive juxtaposed scenes here as we’re presented with the contrast between what’s happening in the States and the Middle East as the camera switches from one side of the planet to the other. One scene in particular towards the end of the series sees both men walking at the same time, each with a similar purpose to change people’s perception. I won’t spoil too much but suffice to say, it’s one of the more memorable moments of the entire 10 episode run.
While the ending brings a conclusion for most of the plot threads, there are a couple of character stories that feel a little unresolved and leave me in the dark as to the fate of those. If a second season is green-lit, we might perhaps get those answers but if it’s not, there’s enough here for an entertaining stand-alone series regardless.
Messiah is quite a nice surprise to start the New Year off with, boasting an intriguing and fascinating story with plenty of shockers and explosive moments along the way. It may be a little slow to start with but stick with it, the performances from the cast and the scenes playing on the contrast between countries towards the second half of the series should be enough to keep you sticking around.
For anyone looking for a binge-worthy series and don’t mind something religiously inclined and mysterious, Messiah might just be the series to raise you from your New Year slumber after the holiday season.
|Messiah is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|
Verdict - 7.5/10