Peaky Blinders season 6 review: Another scintillating outing for the boys from Birmingham

The sixth and final season of the Peaky Blinders revolves around Thomas Shelby doing some soul searching after a failed assassination attempt makes him question his place in the world. The episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

Story

It is four years after the failed assassination attempt of Oswald Mosley and Thomas Shelby has sworn off alcohol to deal with aunt Polly’s death. With the end of the prohibition, he meets with Michael to broker a new deal involving opium.

Michael still harbours hatred towards his uncle and blames him for his mother’s death. Thomas wants to use his connection to Jack Nelson, the man who controls Boston, to get into the American markets.

Arthur has given in to his opioid addiction and is a shell of his former self. Ada is forced to come back into the fold and pick up the slack. Lizzie just wants to be closer to her husband but feels him drifting further and further away.

Thomas Shelby has one last plan to carry out so that he can get out of the life but when his plans involve getting in deep with the fascists, it drives a wedge between him and his family.

He will ensure that the future of his family and the Peaky Blinders is secure no matter what the cost.

Performances

Cillian Murphy is the star standout as he’s always been throughout the series. This season has required him to break down the walls and show much more vulnerability than usual and he does this with aplomb while maintaining his sharp mind.

Natasha O’Keeffe portrays Lizzie Shelby in a valiant effort to showcase the wife that feels lost at sea despite being right beside her husband. The death of her daughter rocks her world and it isn’t even the final blow she faces. O’Keeffe takes all of this and displays the right amount of intensity.

Paul Anderson as Arthur is once again going down the addict route. He’s seen to be under the influence most of the time and even when he’s not, he has lost so much meat on his bones and colour on his skin which in itself feels like a major commitment on Anderson’s part.

Sophie Rundle gets a few moments to shine and excels in those moments, making a case for a larger role than she was given.

Anya Taylor-Joy, Amber Anderson, James Frecheville and Sam Claflin all add their splash of colour to the grey backdrop that is pre-war England.

Positives

Helen McCrory’s death was handled in a classy manner as it was worked into the story without milking it too much. The characters got to pay their respects along with the audience, something many fans would have wanted.

The sound design is top tier as there is a conscious decision to let every sound linger in the air, from the drag of a cigarette to the heavy footsteps on the stone. Later on, the use of the perfect music to encapsulate the mood of any particular moment was done flawlessly.

The colour scheme is a character by itself, with the darker tones used for the streets of Birmingham and Liverpool while brighter backdrops for the elite locations in Boston and London.

The camera work is spectacular. The meeting between Thomas, Nelson, Diana, Mosley and McKee is a work of art, the way the backdrop is blackened out and the camera switches focus as each of them speaks their piece.

Negatives

The tone of this season is considerably more sombre and less explosive compared to previous seasons and that will definitely disappoint a few fans, despite offering a strong season overall.

Ada was shown to be very adept at the top and should certainly have been given more screen time to show off that brilliant attitude.

Verdict

Season 6 of Peaky Blinders suffers slightly from the loss of Helen McCrory and that affects the overall direction of the story, but ultimately it still paints a magnificent picture of a group of gangsters from Birmingham who make it big in England. It also lays a decent foundation for the feature-length film that is supposed to wrap things up for the Peaky Blinders.

Rating: 4/5


Also Read: Peaky Blinders season 6 summary and ending explained