Murder: The Big Bang ★★★½

I have to confess I haven't seen the second film from this mini-series, last week's Lost Weekend, but I think I can safely say that this film, the last in the run, is probably the highlight - a worthy successor to the excellent 2012 film Murder: Joint Enterprise which inspired it all.

The Big Bang is another dark and harrowing, unflinching confessional; a sort of grisly Crimewatch take on Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Ripples reverberate from a dreadful crime - an off duty police constable takes his precocious young daughter swimming at the local baths when he stumbles upon three robbers fleeing from a nearby heist in the car park. CCTV footage shows one of the robbers gun him down - but which one pulled the trigger?

Ten years later and the daughter is now a troubled teenager at a young offenders institution who both blames herself for her father's death, thanks to various cruel tricks of fate that led them there, and is desperate to hear from the three imprisoned robbers just who was responsible.

Jessica Barden plays the teenager and it's a blinder of a performance. I actually think Barden might be this generation's Charlotte Coleman because, like that much missed great, she's a diminutive ever-youthful elfin like performer who is continuously asked to play characters a good 5-7 years younger than herself. But the scenes featuring the three criminals in their cells is perhaps the most gripping coup of the film, thanks to the powerful compelling performances of David Wilmot, Michael Smiley and Johann Myers who each hold our attention with their tense and revealing monologues that slowly strip all the lies and delusions away to finally reveal the truth.