Tom George on Bringing a Modern Perspective to See How They Work

A Hollywood director (Adrien Brody) is in 1950s London’s West End to make a film version of a hit play. His plans come to a screeching halt when he is murdered, leaving Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) on a dry-witted whodunit path.


To complete the cast in See how they work are Pearl Chanda, Gregory Cox, Harris Dickinson, Maggie McCarthy, Charlie Cooper, Ruth Wilson, David Oyelowo, Sian Clifford, etc. It is led by Tom-Georges and written by Mark Chappell.

“The discussion I would have with each of the various film department heads was like, how can we reflect that on the one hand, this is 1950s London, and he wants to feel like a version fully realized of this world. But at the same time, the film only works from a kind of modern perspective. You have to know everything, subconsciously, about the murder mystery, film noir, the history of cinema in the West End, Agatha Christie to some degree… what got me excited about the movie was that it was the chance to do a period movie, but not quite like we’ve seen it before. aware of not wanting to do some sort of sepia version of post-war London because we’ve just seen that so many times here. What was exciting about it was that there was quite a tone clear and modern flowing through it,” George said.

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Balancing drama and comedy in See How They Run

Elements that have contributed to the modern tone present in See how they work, as George explained, included “always trying to stay true to the characters and the world”, but also thinking about how to bring “our own touch of light to it…whether in this canon or not. “. Which can definitely be seen in the comedic aspects of the movie, as there’s plenty of witty dialogue and circumstance that balances out the darker subject matter like murder and addiction.

“In terms of comedy specifically, or just how that feature is… I guess what I would say is that Mark and I were aware from the start that one of the big challenges would be how to balance the dramatic elements, the darker elements, with the comedy. If you lean too far into comedy, then you risk undermining the stakes of your thriller, drama scenes. If it’s just comedy, it’s just silly, you don’t engage with the characters that way. But at the same time, if we go too far towards the dramatic thriller, the comedy moves away. And so, trying to get to that sweet spot to keep those two things in play has always been the challenge, but also what has excited us both. And the great thing – and the thing that Mark has done so well – is that often the two live side by side… that’s always what satisfies me the most when you can link comedy and drama so that the public doesn’t quite understand see it coming,” George said.

Related: See How They Work Review: A Dry, Clever Parody of Agatha Christie Mysteries

Whodunit & Stacked Cast in See How They Work

George noted that he thinks one of the biggest things that keeps people coming back to whodunit stories is that they allow audiences to get in “straight with the detectives” and try to solve the mystery. . “In any movie, you try to get your audience to really relate or share that point of view with your main characters. In a murder mystery, you kind of lend a hand, because the audience wants knowing thrillers just like detectives… there is something I suppose comforting about an interlocking puzzle.

On top of that, of course, the cast stacked in See how they work helps attract people. “It’s just amazing to have this cast on my first feature,” George commented, “It started with Saoirse Ronan, she was the first person we went to for the role of Stalker. And right from the first time we talked about it, it was clear that she just got the tone of the piece. That was really important to me.

“It’s getting the right tone,” George continued, “that just seemed like the most important element to me. There’s probably a version of this movie where all the performances are up to 11 and are a little arching, played with a wink and a nudge, drifting into complete parody It was clear from Mark’s script, when I first read it, that what what he had done so skillfully was create a comedy that works in a murder mystery, but it didn’t drift into a parody of the genre, despite elements of homage and meta elements… and so from a performance perspective , I really felt like grounded, naturalistic, contemporary comedic performances were going to be kind of the key to setting that tone at the time… I was lucky enough to have just a couple of brilliant comedic actors in Sam and Saoirse, and Adrien who I think was a perfect fit for this Leo Kopernick character.

See how they work will be released in theaters on September 16 through Searchlight Pictures.

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