a journey into the depths of the criminal’s mind

Thriller mini-series starts on June 9Crowded room“, created and written by Oscar winner Akiva. Goldsman. TV series based on Daniel’s novel keyesroom full of people“, played by Tom Hollandjoined by Amanda seyfried. In the cast we also find Emmy roseumWill chaseSasha laneChristopher Abbott and Emma laird.

A challenging journey into the mind of a criminal

In 1979 young Danny Sullivan involved in a shooting near the Rockefeller Center in New York. After his arrest, he will be interrogated several times. Ria Goodwinfearless and determined detective, intrigued by the dynamics of what happened, and by the same Danny. A past of suffering, shadows and fears will arise, full of unexpected twists and turns, difficult situations and purposeful encounters. Communication with Riya this will force him to open up more and more, discovering and exploring the convolutions of his mind and facing the discouraging truth.

Based in part on a literary work by American writer Daniel. keyesroom full of people“, the series is inspired by the real life case of Billy Milligan. His story is of paramount importance to US law, especially in relation to psychology and mental illness.

Adaptation of the protagonist of The Crowded Room

The series analyzes some significant aspects of the biography Milligan, revisiting others in a more fictional and, at times, sweetened manner. The crime actually committed and the case that followed it were, in fact, much more brutal than those seen in “Crowded room“. If the initial choice leads the viewer to greater empathy for the protagonist, in this case Danny, the development of this vision leads to the dehumanization of the character. What his factual errors are, in fact, are ultimately legitimized regardless of his condition and the subsequent verdict of the court. Thus, the lack of realism in the story is ultimately a double-edged sword that makes Danny only a victim, not a perpetrator, and his condition is almost a mere addition to the bitterness of his life.

Character Danny/ Billy, so multifaceted and controversial in the story that actually happened, has a less effective than necessary execution here. The complexity of his case is also due to his dual nature of the criminal and the victim of himself, the coexistence in him of innocence and fear, along with anger and madness. Danny he confines himself to an arrest for an emotionally justified crime by the series, which, in addition to giving rise to the already discussed problem, gives the character a great superficiality.

Unbalanced plot selection pace

Another controversial choice of production concerns precisely the core of the series, which was provided by the case. Milligan his fame. If a short search is enough to get all the details of his story, the show instead decides to keep its forte under wraps, only revealing it mid-season. The choice is inevitably counterproductive and also slows down the pace of the series itself. In fact the first few episodes have a slow and boring effect and seem to lack direction. Numerous digressions, designed to confuse the viewer in the intentions of the narrative, give rise to an overly verbose product that materializes too late for the depth of the subject.

The second half actually suffers from the phlegmatic nature of the first, producing the opposite effect: the need to analyze the core of the issue is reduced to a hasty and somewhat superficial solution. Awareness, the choice of the path to follow, the process of acceptance – it all comes down to insufficient resolution of the essence of the issue. This only contributes to the shallowness effect mentioned earlier.

The sharpness of interpretations in the cast of the series

Part of what makes up for these problems is the interpretation of the cast, valid though punished by the writing of the series. Ahead of all we find the main character, Danny Sullivanplayed by the not-so-convincing Tom Holland; the one who was supposed to represent the spearhead”Crowded room“, in fact, offers a good performance, but not enough for the emotional spectrum of his character. The result does not get the desired depth and involvement, remaining limited to its own goals, not going beyond them. Film Partner – Doctor Riya Goodwinplayed by Amanda seyfried; his interpretation suits the character well, perhaps more professionally than humanly.

Among the secondary characters, of course, it is worth noting the magnificent game of Jason. Isaacswhich interprets English Jack Lambfundamental presence in life Danny. We also mention Emmy roseum as a mother Dannywhich he interprets convincingly even in moments of greater emphasis.

The Beatles at the center of the soundtrack

Also ubiquitous in the series is the theme song of the soundtrack, here related to the idea of ​​the series, which Let it be belonging The Beatles. A hymn to hope, resistance and forgiveness, the themes are present in their own right in “Crowded room“The text invites us to see the light in the darkest moments, in whatever form it may appear. Throughout the episodes, the song is presented less explicitly, but its connection with the story is realized when the same Danny quotes the verses:When I am in trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.“. If for Paul McCartneytext author,Mother Marywas his mother, who died when he was young, appeared to him in a dream at a difficult moment in his life, for Danny AND Riya, met during the trial and remained close to him even when it seemed that hope was lost. The choice to convey a message of salvation and hope through this song is in keeping with the series’ tone and approach.

Final thoughts

Crowded roomis a series that tells a true story, also told in the book “room full of people“. Billy Gillmanreal story protagonist, renamed here Danny Sullivan and playing Tom Holland. The series version, sweetened in order to arouse more sympathy for him, has not only a positive effect: in fact, it leads to a flattening of the character, to his reduction to a simple victim of a crime emotionally justified by the plot, regardless of his state. Related to this is another dubious choice of the series: “revealing” its core in only half of the episodes. The decision leads to a dilution of the tempo of the first episodes, full of even superfluous and unconvincing digressions, and to an acceleration of the tempo of the latter, which do not properly analyze the issue.

The actors’ interpretations are valid, though penalized by the writing of the series. Tom’s Party Holland, executed rather well, is insufficient for the character he deals with, extremely complex and varied. Amanda seyfried she plays the role of a doctor well Goodwinas well as minor characters, most notably Jason Isaacs and Emmy roseum. As a backdrop to events, we find in the center of the soundtrack the famous “Let it be“owned The Beatleswhich is related to the theme of the series, the relationship between Danny AND Riya and the messages it intends to convey.


  • The idea of ​​adapting a story as complex and controversial as Billy’s Milligan;
  • Interpretations of actors valid in relation to the roles they play…


  • … but often not insightful enough to convey its psychic complexity, especially in the case of the protagonist;
  • Character writing Dannyunrealistic and greatly simplified;
  • The choice to reveal the essence of the story in the middle of the series, which slows down the pace of the first episodes and speeds up the last ones.

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