Review of A Murder at the End of the World: Gripping Crime Novel Unveiled
A Murder at the End of the World is a visually stunning but overly long murder mystery that tests viewers' patience.
In 2018, critic Kathryn VanArendonk wrote about the growing trend of longer television runtimes, comparing it to "manspreading" on TV. This trend has only continued, with streaming services producing longer episodes to compete with premium cable shows. A Murder at the End of the World, an FX/Hulu whodunit, falls victim to this trend, with unnecessarily long episodes that detract from the storytelling.
The show is set in Iceland, where a group of experts is brought together to discuss solutions to climate change. When a murder occurs, internet sleuth Darby Hart takes on the case. However, the show's excessive length leads to padded storytelling and a lack of urgency in the murder mystery plot.
Despite its flaws, A Murder at the End of the World has standout performances and stunning visuals. The cast delivers moving performances, and the show's production design and costumes are top-notch. Additionally, the creators tackle important social issues, such as the epidemic of missing and murdered women, and link it to misogyny.
However, the slow pace of the show and the lack of narrative urgency make it difficult to engage with the story. The excessive runtime of the episodes, filled with mesmerizing shots and dawdling flashbacks, contributes to a lack of momentum in the plot.
While the final two episodes may offer a change in pace, A Murder at the End of the World struggles to maintain viewer engagement with its stylish, meandering approach to storytelling. The show's focus on meditation over mayhem leaves the audience wanting more narrative drive and focus.