Depp V. Heard on Netflix. Review: “Farce”

Alessandro De Maria

When watching the reconstruction of the trial of two American actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, available on Netflix in three episodes, only one word comes to mind: farce. Director Emma Cooper states that her intention is not to take a position, but to make available all the information about the trial and analyze how certain opinions arose. How he does it? Very very bad.

The three-part miniseries takes the tone of taking into account an alleged episode of violence, then using the testimony of both about it. So far everything is fine, but then the unexpected happens! I’ll give you an example: there was an argument, Depp gives his version, and then Heard gives his. What is the director doing at this moment? Copy and paste a series of videos from YouTubers and TikTokers who have expressed their opinions. What is the problem? That the police were called in connection with the incident in question and that the two officers who intervened provided statements lasting between 30 minutes and an hour, and that these statements were supported by the presence of body camera footage of the two officers. Reviews that are completely cut out except for a few seconds.

It’s like being on trial for murder when the prosecution says, “He did it!” and the defendant says, “That’s not true!” and no witnesses or technicians attempt to shed any light on the matter. No tests to determine where the bullet came from, no reconstruction, gagged witnesses unable to give their opinion… all the evidence was gone, even the Vespa model! Puff, and the context is gone. And without context, nothing makes sense.

The documentary continues in this vein throughout its existence, dematerializing the hours of testimony and recordings that prove decisive in favor of the media process that has been created around it. It is effective to turn a trial with overwhelming evidence in favor of one side into a matter of opinion. Just so you understand: during Heard’s trial, some photographs were presented with a bruise on her cheekbone; subsequently, according to the testimony of an IT specialist, it turned out that the photograph was recovered from a photo editing program folder along with various copies of the same thing with various modifications. In short, the technician analyzes the metadata to compare different photos and show how the photo has been altered. Important testimony because, in my opinion and that of many others, including the jury, it demonstrates that the photograph was a fake and was skillfully retouched.

Do you think the director thought to include an excerpt from the testimony? Absolutely not, better put memes from TikTok! All that remains is what cannot be erased so easily, that is, it lies so large that it cannot even be hidden in a black hole, because half the world now knows about it. For example, Hurd uses the words “I promised to donate” and “I donated” interchangeably. To the question: “Did you donate all seven million you received from your divorce to charity?” I heard answers “yes”, although in reality this is not the case. During interrogation, she, having evidence in hand, declares that for her, promising to give and giving are synonymous. Tomorrow I’ll try it too: I’ll go to the butcher and pay him with promises, let’s see how he reacts.

The evidence that has disappeared and which could have helped the viewer gain insight is countless, and once the facts have disappeared, it is obvious that there are two characters left who shift the blame onto each other. The production is so bad that even critics are blaming it on Rotten Tomatoes it actually gets 27% from critics and even less from the public who give it a good 10%. But most troubling is the “Season 1” sign above the title, which promises new “infamous” episodes that I hope will never be made.

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