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Short summary

A father and son story, with a thriller motor. It explores a mystery from the past with a brutal and shocking revelation.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Thomand
    Exile did look very interesting, and of course I'd watch anything with Jim Broadbent in it. But in all honesty, I was not expecting it to be this good. Exile was both an intense and moving drama and actually one of my personal favourites of this year so far. It is beautifully and stylishly filmed, the story really gripped and moved me and the writing is superb, while it is always reflective and involving with the more intense parts genuinely so it also makes some good relevant points without feeling too unsubtle. The direction is also very good, it helps move the drama along nicely-Exile I found very well-paced from the start- and some of the camera shots are among the best I've seen in any drama so far this year. The characters are also very rich and well-written and realised, especially with Nancy and you do feel a lot of sympathy for Sam too. The acting is outstanding, here John Simm breaks away from his typecast persona and delivers a more gritty, hard-nosed and intense performance which he does splendidly. Olivia Colman has a ball playing her rich character and Shaun Dooley and Timothy West are great to watch. But special mention has to go to Jim Broadbent, based on personal experience Broadbent's portrayal of an Alzheimers-sufferer is just heart-wrenching. All in all, brilliant drama with outstanding acting and strong emotional impact, not to mention a harrowing ending which profoundly affected me even long after the drama was over. 10/10 Bethany Cox
  • comment
    • Author: Quashant
    Given the well known actors involved in this drama, I had high hopes and they were not disappointed. All of the main characters were played fantastically well and it felt real. My mum has Alzheimers and I did wonder whether I would be "up" to watching something that was obviously so close to home, but the illness as a main strand of the story was treated with sensitivity and humour. Jim Broadbent was amazing in the role as the ill dad, and John Simm and Olivia Colman were both fantastic in their roles as wayward son and put upon daughter. The mystery surrounding the sudden departure of Tom to London 18 years earlier developed well as the storyline moved on. Similarly to another reviewer I did think that the ending was somewhat hurried, but all of the loose ends were well and truly tied, and it didn't detract from the overall quality. I'll be making a DVD purchase when it's released.
  • comment
    • Author: WUNDERKIND
    This is a high quality, dark psychological drama, with the odd blackly comic moment thrown in, and well worth spending 3 hours on. It's beautifully shot with some stunning locations, and the performances of John Simm, Jim Broadbent and Olivia Coleman (particulary John Simm) are utterly compelling.

    John Simm's character, Tom, spectacularly messes up his life and career as a journalist in London, and goes back home to Lancashire. He finds his retired journalist dad, whom he idolised as a child, to be suffering from dementia and being cared for by his sister. It turns out he had a sudden, violent and catastrophic falling-out with his dad many years ago which led to him fleeing to London, and now he is back home he becomes determined to get to the bottom of what happened to cause the fall-out. This proves more complicated that he thought, mainly due to his dad's mental capacity - however by the end, he does manage to piece the devastating truth together, and as with all the characters John Simm plays in such a believable, 'everyman' way, we root for him the whole time, even though his character is not saintly by any means.

    My only beef with this would be that the script and plot do contain some real clichéd moments, and you do have to suspend a bit of disbelief about how relatively easy it is for Tom to locate some of the key characters and certain bits of information about the past. That being said, it's the excellence of the actors' performances that totally clinch this for me.

    If, like me, you're a fan of Mr Simm, you will not be disappointed in this.
  • comment
    • Author: Ginaun
    A prime candidate for a 'If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this programme' tag, Exile sees Simm's disgraced hack flee to his Lancashire hometown for the first time in 18 years, to discover his once idolised reporter dad destroyed by Alzheimer's – along with a hideous buried scandal.

    Befitting the title, both father and son are exiles – from their careers, from sense, from truth; here, investigative reporting makes a fine metaphor for a crusade against the corruption of memory, and the pursuit of identity itself.

    Essentially a three-hander between Simm (cornering the brooding everyman corner), the wonderful Colman (playing it straight) and the mighty Broadbent, the latter's portrayal of this terrible condition must be among the most devastatingly accurate ever placed on screen. Shocking and extremely moving, with a final scene that's – ironically – quite unforgettable.
  • comment
    • Author: Perdana
    In this unique tale of a man whom has fallen from the graces of high flying London, comes a story of one man's endeavour to uncover the truths surrounding his native hometown and the circumstances that forces him to leave and become a different man. After spending the majority of his life running from his past Tom Ronstadt (John Simm), decides that running is no longer an option. This story highlights some very true realities surrounding Alzheimer's disease and the heartache that families must deal with in regards to those effected. Spanning from personal experience Jim Broadbent plays the character affected with pin-point accuracy and gives the character more edge than has ever been seen with his more lovable characters. Simm does also not disappoint with his new break from typecasting, his take on the washed out son is more intense than we have seen of him in a long time. This truly is a piece of gritty drama that will define the year.
  • comment
    • Author: LadyShlak
    Exile is a story about returning to your hometown to find that little has changed. It focuses on the father-son relationship between Sam (Jim Broadbent),and Tom Ronstadt (John Simm), and also Nancy (Olivia Coleman, who is tired of caring for her elderly father on her own.There's so much frustration and anger in Tom's character who is unable to understand why his father treated him like he did in the past, and with Sam's Alzheimer's it becomes a real mystery with little pieces of the past being gradually released throughout the three episodes.

    What I love about this show is that even with all the angst and tension there is some great humour and heartwarming moments.
  • comment
    • Author: generation of new
    Tom returns home lost, his career has gone down the drain and the only thing he has left is his sister and father, as he confronts his past he finds a life changing secret.

    This is pure drama that deals with the effects of Alzheimer's and how it can affect the people around the Alzheimer sufferer and then there is the other story about a journalist trying to uncover as to why his father, a gentle man would turn into a monster over the discovery of a file. John Simm is perhaps one of the finest British talents we have today, he gives everything away and he rarely fails to excite. It's a brilliant drama, however I found the 'affair' tedious and the ending was a let down, but the build up was brilliant and how the secret slowly unravels, yet the final confrontation with Dr. Metzler was disappointing.

    A good drama.
  • comment
    • Author: Mautaxe
    There's not much to add from the other reviews on this drama. The only thing I would say, is that the ending was somewhat anti-climatic, it just felt like it could have ended with more of a bang, due to the build up of the finale. I don't think that I would be the only one in thinking that there was still enough room for an extra episode.

    Anyhow, the drama does extremely well in highlighting the plight of Alzheimer sufferers and the effect on those around them in the wider context of it being a thriller. I think the casting was great, it was nice to see Olivia Coleman playing such a rich character in support. Obviously credit goes to John Simm for providing an outstanding performance of great depth, as well as Jim Broadbent's lovable portrayal as the father suffering from Alzheimers. Also, Kate Magowan oozed an unconventional sense of sexiness from her first scene behind the bar.

    I am glad to have watched this show and I shall be recommending this to all my friends!
  • comment
    • Author: Capella
    As a directional country in creating versatile crime dramas, the UK has contributed and will contribute so many quality stuff than one is bound to start selecting and comparing, based on taste, habits and many other factors. Here, in Exile, the biggest value for me were 2 leading performances - Tom Ronstadt (John Simm) and Sam Ronstadt (Jim Broadbent) - whose versatility and switching ironed out some clichés and over-sophistication in the plot. I have discovered the talent of both Simm and Broadbent long time ago, but it is still please to ascertain that they have not confined themselves to comparable characters and roles approach.

    As for the plot, some scenes seemed excessive, some supporting character changes weird, plus it was difficult to follow the events in different periods at times. Neverthess, Exile is another work of quality, excelling most counterparts created e.g. in the US or Australia. Unless you have painful personal experience with Alzheimer's disease, this miniseries is definitely a pleasant spending of ca 3 hours.
  • comment
    • Author: Zehaffy
    I had recently seen Simm in State of Play, in which he was first class, an I wrote a review of it. Flicking though Simm's IMDb entries I found Exile and read the reviews. Less than £5 later my wife and I settled down to watch the DVD with an alternative handy if it turned out to be rubbish.

    We were both entranced.

    I agree that there were one of two times when belief had to be suspended just a bit but, as I used to be a police officer, I have to do that for many series. Beyond that it was very good TV drama.

    The story unfolded steadily, keeping my wife and me watching for two hours before it got too late. The following morning we talked about it, it was that involving. The final episode maintained the decent plotting, the excellent acting and the very good script.

    The Alzheimers was an important part of the script and really was touching. If you have ever known anyone dismembered by this terrible disease then be prepared to have it opened out in front of you again. Heartbreaking isn't a big enough word.

    Simm takes the part of failed journalist very well but perhaps not quite as good as he did in State of Play. Broadbent is well worth the money in whatever he does, a real gem. Olivia Colman is up there with him in acting ability. She was superb.

    All three deserve the plaudits. They really did work well together.

    After seeing the end of the series my wife and I ended up talking about it for an hour afterwards. It is the sort of film that will stay with you for some time. It does nothing remarkable or revolutionary. It is nothing more than an excellently written script acted to perfection.

    So I fall in line with most other reviewers on here, if not quite so generous with stars as most. Well worth the money I paid, less than £2 and hour. Top quality drama.
  • comment
    • Author: Spilberg
    John Simm is such an intelligent and under-rated actor. Not overly suave or good looking, but great at playing the troubled everyman. Here he has a role that fits like a glove: a sacked London journalist (with the clichéd alcohol and drug dependence) forced to return to his home town where his sister Nancy (the superb Olivia Colman) is caring for their father (Jim Broadbent) who has Alzheimer's. The plot follows Simm's character's attempts to solve a mystery from his Dad's past. It's more a study of a fractured family than a great thriller, but I think Simm could read the phone book and be interesting. He's good at conveying wry humour, attraction to the opposite sex, a kind of basic integrity and passion. I'd like to see him in a regular series with some of that salty humour and energy. He's yet to get the profile he deserves.
  • comment
    • Author: Kerahuginn
    Im looking at all the 9s and 10s and Im wondering if I should watch this movie again....not!!! I considered not playing the second disc at all that's how much i wasnt enjoying it. This film was way too slow, especially the first disc, to be considered gripping or intriguing. Absolutely not a thriller. After being fired from his job, Tom Rondstadt goes back to his childhood home and almost immediately starts to flashback to an incident that led him to leave home in the first place; an incident between him and his father, Sam. Getting answers to the rising questions Tom has for his dad is difficult because dad has Alzheimers. The movie just stutter steps to me. When there is a revelation, I really couldn't care less. This was a great story, I just dont think it was executed well; it needed more intensity. I didnt care for the ending either. As things are falling into place and more and more truth is revealed, it was like a snowball rolling down a hill and it's getting bigger...then stalls. I did like the exposure Alzheimer's received by making it a huge focal point and the phenomenal job Jim Broadbent did this role. John Simm did a great job as well.
  • Series cast summary:
    John Simm John Simm - Tom Ronstadt 3 episodes, 2011
    Jim Broadbent Jim Broadbent - Sam Ronstadt 3 episodes, 2011
    Olivia Colman Olivia Colman - Nancy Ronstadt 3 episodes, 2011
    Nico Mirallegro Nico Mirallegro - Teenage Tom 3 episodes, 2011
    Daryl Fishwick Daryl Fishwick - Wendy 3 episodes, 2011
    Claire Goose Claire Goose - Mandy 3 episodes, 2011
    Shaun Dooley Shaun Dooley - Mike Eldridge 3 episodes, 2011
    Timothy West Timothy West - Metzler 2 episodes, 2011
    Sarah Jayne Dunn Sarah Jayne Dunn - Metzler's PA 2 episodes, 2011
    Alex Clayton Alex Clayton - Young Tom 2 episodes, 2011
    Sarah Parks Sarah Parks - Wendy's Partner 2 episodes, 2011
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