By Seth Lukas Hynes
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears
Starring Essie Davis, Nathan Page and Izabella Yena
Based on the popular TV show, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears is a historical crime drama brimming with charm but lacking in focus.
In 1929, famous detective Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) investigates an ancient injustice after breaking Shirin (Izabella Yena) out of jail in British-occupied Palestine.
Davis radiates charisma in every scene, portraying a confident, endlessly elegant heroine. She has endearing chemistry with Nathan Page as Detective Jack Robinson, who is initially turned off by Phryne’s recklessness and flippant attitude but slowly won back by her whirlwind passion and the adventures she pulls him into. The film has sumptuous costuming and art direction, and the supporting characters are fun and distinctive.
While the plot has strong forward momentum and some well-executed red-herrings, the film’s various narrative threads are disjointed and poorly-developed.
The nebulous shady British railroad deal has little tangible connection to the massacre of Shirin’s village, a certain artefact is given major focus but has no practical function within the plot, and the mystical subplot involving a cursed crypt is a jarring tonal shift from the film’s more grounded investigations.
The main characters travel across the world far too easily and most of the dramatic obstacles are toothless, which dilutes the suspense of their journey.
Driven by a captivating performance from Davis, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears is an enjoyable but shallow film with a frustratingly flimsy screenplay.