The Politicianís Husband
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Films about female politicians are trending now, with images of women negotiating international treaties, playing hardball with other power brokers, juggling work and family crises. Writer Paula Milne put a different twist on this subject in the BBC miniseries The Politicianís Husband, which focuses on the emotional fallout when a wifeís political career soars just as her high-ranking husbandís crashes.

British favorites David Tennant and Emily Watson play Englandís political ďgolden coupleĒ Aiden Hoynes and Freya Gardner; heís a Senior Cabinet Minister, and sheís a junior Member of Parliament. For years, she set aside her own higher political ambitions to support his rise to power and to raise their children, including a son with Aspergerís.

When Aiden makes a daring political move against the Prime Minister in an attempt to challenge him for the next election, it backfires, leaving Aidenís career in tatters. Shortly thereafter, the Prime Minister offers the well-respected Freya a position in his Cabinetóa huge opportunity for her but a slap in her husbandís face. She will also likely be forced to support the Prime Ministerís positions that her husband has fiercely opposed. Thereís more: Aiden thinks heís been set up to take the fall, and he doesnít know which of his former political allies he can trust. It also means that Aiden, an ambitious firebrand, will need to develop domestic skills, stay home with the kids, and learn to handle the tempestuous father-son relationship that heís always avoided. Nevertheless, Freya decides to take the job, and she begins working long hours and weekends alongside the very people who unseated her husband.

The Politicianís Husband captures the moment-by-moment emotional shifts that take place in a healthy marriage between two bright, powerful, successful people when the womanís role suddenly and dramatically overshadows her husbandís. Tennant brilliantly captures every momentary nuance of Aidenís life as his suspicions about his wife and his former friends emerge. The camera witnesses every tremble in his voice, every change in his breathing, and every facial twitch as he carefully keeps tabs on the latest political developments and makes love to a wife whose loyalty he suspects.

Watsonís Freya matches Tennantís performance move by move. The characterís personalities are, as in so many marriages, opposites: she the quiet, firm counterpoint to his pinpoint-fierce intensity. As Aidenís pain surges, the series turns unapologetically raw, exposing the range of human emotion: love, rage, trust, distrust, switching in an instant. Watching it is both inspiring and brutal. The political intrigue continues to ramp up as well, and itís not until the final scene that all of the playersí loyalties are revealed.

Whether youíre a fan of marital drama or political whodunits, you wonít want to miss this one. At the end, there is a haunting question: does emotional trauma cause change in our behavior or just reveal what was always there?

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