Picks and Pans Review: Dadah Is Death
It would be difficult to recommend a show that left me feeling ill, even if that show were good—and this one isn't. Dadah is based on the true story of two Australian men who were hanged for drug trafficking in Malaysia. If you want to know about the case, read the old news stories. But if you insist upon seeing a hanging recreated in grisly, sickening detail, then go ahead and watch this miniseries. Julie Christie does a fine job as the crusading mother of one of the condemned men. But mostly Dadah is a collection of cartoon caricatures: the mean cops with their ugly laughs; the drug-running mobster whose black shirt and white tie is an old joke; the sadistic prison guard; and Christie's son, who's just a misunderstood youth. Malaysia itself is portrayed as a barbaric land because it executes drug traffickers—which is odd, since in this country some politicians are rushing to pass a law to do the same thing. All the characterizations are shallow, no deeper than what you'd expect to see in a Judith Krantz trash mini. It's no coincidence. Steve Krantz is a co-executive producer; he's her husband. And this is trash.