Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears
Director: Tony Tilse
Writer: Deb Cox
Sequel to: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Cast: Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Rupert Penry-Jones, Miriam Margolyes, Daniel Lapaine, Jacqueline McKenzie, Izabella Yena, Kal Naga, John Waters, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Ashleigh Cummings, Travis McMahon
Seen on: 21.7.2020
As usual, Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) is on a mission. This time, her path brought her to Jerusalem where she frees Shirin (Izabella Yena) from prison. Shirin had been locked up because she claims that the British murdered her family and her entire village when she was a child. But things go a little badly and Phryne is claimed to be dead. The news even reaches Australia, where Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) leaves everything to say his goodbye to Phryne in the UK. When Phryne crashes her own funeral, obviously alive, and ready to solve the mystery around Shirin, Jack is both relieved and angry, and lets himself get roped in with the case.
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears is, basically, the series finale for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, a fantastic TV show that was cut off too soon and with a not very satisfying ending. This would have been their chance to bring things to a round close, but unfortunately, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears is not up to snuff and simply not worthy of the show it is supposed to finish.
I was really looking forward to this film. I had only recently (finally) watched the show and I loved it, but the ending that did not see Jack and Phryne ride off into the sunset together, was a bit of a disappointment. One, I thought, that we’d finally get now with the film.
But while we do get the romantic ending, the film is a disappointment in another way: the writing sucks so badly, I was pretty much floored. I don’t know how this happened, given that Cox was a regular writer for the show. But here, everything that could go wrong, did: the case – packed with a healthy dose of orientalism that is very in tune with the time it is set in, but shouldn’t happen anymore – is ridiculous and doesn’t work. Neither does the conceit that Phryne may have died. And that isn’t all.
Phryne behaves completely out of character (she may not have been ready to compromise, but she was never dismissive of Jack’s feelings – not like she is here when she sees him again at her own fucking funeral). And then there is the scene with the quicksand that just completely broke me. It felt so forced and unnatural, it took the last bit of joy the film had still left me with and obliterated it. I also missed Dottie and Hugh, who just got short moments on screen.
Essie Davis is still fantastic, as is Nathan Page and their chemistry is absolutely good enough that it sizzles even in this mess, but as much as I loved to see Phryne and Jack finally together, I did almost wish I hadn’t watched this and rather imagined their happy end after the series myself.