Rough Diamonds (2023) is a Belgian drama series about an orthodox Jewish family within the diamond industry and the estranged Noah, who returns to help them after his younger brother ends his life. The series is streaming on Netflix.
Noah Wolfson is part of an orthodox Jewish family that is well-established in the diamond trade in Antwerp but he left that life and religion many years ago and moved to London.
When his younger brother commits suicide, Noah returns to Antwerp to help his family through this difficult period but he ends up walking into an even bigger pot of trouble.
His family business is in dire need of assistance thanks to some shady deals carried out by his brother before his death, while his other siblings have problems of their own that aren’t alleviated by his arrival.
Noah’s own criminal connections in London follow him to Antwerp as he does his best to ensure his family comes out of this turbulence unscathed.
Kevin Janssens plays Noah, the slightly brooding son who knows how to get work done. Janssens’ performance is good but it doesn’t set the screen alight because it isn’t impactful.
Robbie Cleiren plays Noah’s older brother Eli, and Cleiren slightly outshines the others simply because of the way his character is written. He is allowed to show off different layers and he does a great job with it.
Marie Vinck plays Gila, Noah’s former lover who is going through many strong emotions since his return. Vinck’s expressions and body language are great even if her character isn’t given much else to work with.
Ini Massez plays Adina, the most reasonable Wolfson sibling. Massez knows exactly the kind of maturity her character needs to have and she delivers it dutifully.
There are a host of characters playing supportive roles in the series but nothing truly stands out as exemplary.
The cinematography is one of the few shining lights of the series as the framing of scenes and the way Antwerp is captured on screen is amazing. It succeeds in keeping eyes on the screen for at least a brief moment.
The pacing of the series is deplorable and is hard to get by. There is not enough intensity to the narrative to keep the viewer engaged and it suffers as a result.
There are multiple sub-plots and the story is overstuffed at times with everything that is going on. There isn’t a proper balance between family issues and criminal activity, and neither do they mesh well enough.
The characters are quite dull and despite the best efforts of the cast, they just aren’t interesting enough to have the viewers root for them with earnestness.
Rough Diamonds (2023) is a slog of a series with a decent concept but poor intensity. The writers fail to give the viewer something interesting to follow and it just ambles along toward the finish line.
Director: Rotem Shamir, Cecilia Verheyden
Date Created: 2023-04-21 12:30