Jana, whose father died young and whose mother is insane, was raised lovingly by a foster father. The said foster father works as a ferryman on the river Scheldt. Now an adult, Jana is busy with her own affairs. When her foster father tries to tell her that his life is blighted by a corrosive secret, she doesn't pay proper attention. Soon after she discovers that the poor man has drowned in the river. Is it an accident, a murder or a suicide ? As Jana inherits his ferryman business, she gets caught up in a web of lies and crimes.
This is the premise of "Still waters" (..run deep), a Flemish suspense series with a prestigious cast.
I can't say I'm too fond of the series, although the acting tends to be good. A basic problem is that the screenplay, lacking focus, moves all over the place : it clearly was born under a wandering, wandering star. Another is that the subject matter is horrible - we're talking crimes against children here - and that the series contains numerous references to the infamous Dutroux affair and its societal aftermath. I'm not sure that the series has earned to right to do so, there is something facile and exploitative here.
Still, the series is correct in pointing out that the Belgian justice system, even after Dutroux, is subject to a number of flaws, such as slowness and complexity. As a result victims (or their relatives) need to hire a very good lawyer indeed : otherwise they are sure to get lost in a labyrinth of stunning size and intricacy. And of course, even with excellent legal advice the truth can remain elusive... Moreover, victims often feel as though suspects or perpetrators are treated with more interest or care than they themselves.
The lovingly filmed locations are splendid, showcasing the natural beauty of the Scheldt and its landscape.
On a more comical note, the costumes include some of the ugliest hats and caps ever worn...
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