The first episode of 'Unbelievable' opens with showing a visibly upset teenager Marie (Kaitlyn Dever) wrapped in a blanket as she shivers slightly. Her face, the color of the grey walls behind her, is contorted in pain, confusion. Her eyes look blank, as if she does not want to believe what had happened to her earlier.
Few minutes into the first episode, the Netflix series that released on 13 September, grabs the viewers' attention. Based on a true news report, 'Unbelievable' depicts sexual assault, trauma and delayed justice and how it affects societies and especially lives of the victims.
Marie Adler has been in and out of foster homes in Denver, Colorado and has had a troubled time growing up. The young girl is traumatized after being raped in her own bedroom. The perpetrator leaves no trace of the crime and her case officers end up harassing her and finally dissing her as a liar.
Marie ends up losing the few precious things she has in her already distraught life and all because of the inefficiency of the local police. Her assault eventually gets treated as false and does not get registered.
After a couple of years, another rape takes place in Denver but this time Detective Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever) takes over the case who takes it seriously. The story shows the two sides of how rape cases are handled; one where law enforcement agents mishandle the case and the victim and the other where the detectives work sincerely and victims are prioritised.
Toni Collette plays the role of Detective Grace Rasmussen with whom Detective Duvall eventually teams up so solve a series of similar sexual assaults. Collette and Wever have perhaps given one of their best performances in the series, they alone steal the show.
The strong, mostly women cast might also make viewers wonder why stories such as these are not created more often. At some point, viewers grow tired of watching love stories, spies killing off each other and children fighting with magic.
Watch 'Unbelievable' to believe how perseverance and hard work helps to fight misogyny and violence against women that rot our core social values.