‘Eric’ Review: Benedict Cumberbatch’s Kidnapping Thriller is a 10/10

Famous puppeteer Vincent Anderson (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his wife Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann) are forced to consider what-ifs when their 9-year-old son Edgar (Ivan Morris Howe) disappears in Netflix’s limited series ‘Eric,’ written by screenwriter Abi Morgan. Vincent starts to fall apart while Cassie looks to NYPD and Missing Persons Squad investigator Michael Ledroit.

He is more erratic as he develops fixated on his son’s paintings of a monster puppet called Eric and is desperate to find Edgar. The show delves beyond the pain associated with missing person cases, despite Vincent’s conviction that Edgar will come home if he can bring Eric back to life.

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Eric Review
Image Courtesy: Netflix

‘Eric’ compels viewers to examine themselves and confront the prejudice and intolerance we use as weapons against one another. In 1985, 48 hours after Edgar vanished, ‘Eric’ premieres. The Andersons plead with the public for their son’s return while seated at a table in front of the media. Vincent leans into the microphone and apologizes to Edgar, “If you’re watching this… I’m sorry, buddy,” at the detective’s encouragement.

The show goes back in time to two days ago, leaving this unsettling message hanging in the air. Edgar meanders around backstage during Vincent’s well-liked children’s show, ‘Good Day Sunshine.’ However, Vincent’s demeanour and his line of work couldn’t be more dissimilar. He’s cruel, cold, and contemptuous—the antithesis of cheerful.

Eric Review
Image Courtesy: Netflix

The spectator discovers that Vincent’s temperament bleeds into the house he lives with Cassie and Edgar, as the first episode advances toward the morning of Edgar’s abduction. Ledroit is tasked with investigating Edgar’s disappearance from the school. Ledroit is determined to change the Andersons’ fate since he is still troubled by the memory of a missing Black teenager.

This is no small task in a city intent on throwing out the ugliest things, and all the players in the case have something to hide. The atrocities of NYC’s government policies are revealed when Ledroit follows leads that are delayed down by outdated technology, bureaucratic obstacles, and his discomfort.

Eric Review
Image Courtesy: YouTube

Despite being quite challenging to watch, ‘Eric’ is excellent. In particular, Hoffmann’s portrayal of a mother breaking under the weight of her losses and her husband’s lack of interest in her is compelling. The six-episode series explores the dangers of addiction and self-loathing, focusing on the unfair consequences of racism, homophobia, and capitalist greed. There is one obvious problem, though. Vincent starts to see an actual Eric who follows him around and teases him as he spirals out of control.

The fluffy blue monster serves as a diversion even though it is a representation of the puppeteer’s inner suffering. ‘Eric’ has a tone that is just as grim and dismal as its 1980s New York City location. As a result, the grim tone of the story is compromised by a visual representation of the puppet. Furthermore, Cumberbatch, who is making a comeback to television after a period in successful motion pictures, can portray Vincent’s self-destruction without making the viewer take it too literally.