Disney + recently released this dark thriller in the heart of religious fundamentalism, which recalls the best time of True Detective. By the command of God unable to escape the lead lengths, but captivated by Andrew Garfield’s mesmerizing performance.
From the first minutes, By the command of God captures us with its melancholy atmosphere and its moving piano notes. Jeb Pyre, a police inspector with an unwavering Mormon faith, discovers before us that a young woman and her 15-month-old baby have just been murdered. And the episode hadn’t even started ten minutes before Andrew Garfield’s teary eyes immediately broke our soft little hearts in two.
By the command of God, available on Disney +, is clearly not a cakewalk and looks like Stations of the Cross. In the manner of True Detective hope Twin Peaks, the series immerses us in a small town without history, in the heart of Utah in 1980. Here, most of the inhabitants gather within the Mormon community of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An ultra-religious context, in which the detective Jeb Pyre also bathes because he is a fervent practitioner. Except this brutal crime leads him into an infernal spiral and casts doubt on his entire faith in a religion he thought was ideal.
The rhythm of a snail
Inspired by the book of Jon Krakauer, the author ofInto the Wild, the seven stages of By the command of God (Where Under the Banner of Heaven in the original version) make a long investigation for several days, with a slow that is sometimes very compelling. Obviously, the topic requires your time. The series shows well the reality and the difficulty of some police investigations, especially in the 1980s. It also shows the progressive descent into hell of some communities of the most terrifying religious fanaticism.
But we have to admit that the rhythm of this thriller is clearly not pleasing to everyone: the plot moves slowly like a snail (seven episodes of an hour each…) and the series sometimes focuses on the details a bit heavy. By the command of God returned frequently, in the form of flashbacks to the 19th century, to the origins of the Mormon religion. Reminders of history that we would have done well without and that weigh the story down.
A cast with small onions
The series still has originality that does not focus only on the mystery of the police, but above all on the reasons that lead to religious fundamentalism, even if it means taking life. The parallels with today’s events are very clear, and By the command of God effortlessly creates a moving atmosphere from start to finish in its seven dark episodes.
A tour de force that also allows a cast with small onions, which serves the narrative beautifully. As usual with this actor, the empathy for Andrew Garfield was immediate. The former interpreter Spiderman here takes the main role of Jeb Pyre, who is torn between his religious beliefs and the horror of criminal situations. The constant parallels between the investigation and his private life, this pious life he built for himself year after year, were also striking. The actor is surrounded by great actors like Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), Sam Worthington (Avatar) or Wyatt Russell (Falcon and the Winter Soldier).
By the command of God attract as many below as form
This strong distribution thus perfectly promotes an intelligent narrative, which deals pell-mell with the origin of religion, the causes of certain beliefs, sexism in society but more all in some toxic communities, or parenting. Looking at By the command of Godwe can’t help but think of the excellent series True Detective hope mindhunteras in the cinema of Jeff Nichols (Take shelter, Midnight special). Many works that examine the United States in all their darkness, with a unique aesthetic.
This mini-series of seven episodes is the worthy successor of its predecessors and imposes the heavy religious atmosphere very well. From the screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, who worked on the film Harvey Milk and the beautiful series When We Get Up of LGBTQIA+ struggles, By the command of God attract as many below as form. This thriller lacks a bit of rhythm to position itself as a reference for the small screen (and that we can’t sleep before the end especially). shame.
We like it
- Andrew Garfield, above
- An intelligent religious and political statement
- A wonderful atmosphere
We don’t like it very much
- Is slowly becoming
When True Detective meet mindhunter and Twin Peaks, it gives By the command of God. This ambiguous thriller plunges us into the crisis of faith of Detective Jeb Pyre, a practicing Mormon and good family man. But when he investigates the murder of two members of his community, a young woman and her newborn baby, he discovers that his religion may not be what he believes… on the verge of tears . For his iconic performance alone, the seven-part series is worth watching. But be prepared to nose dive in front of some ranges, too slow to attract in the long term.