Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese they did it again. After Dark, the wonderful Netflix product that has divided critics for years and that still makes itself heard, the two geniuses, because this is the only way we can define them, have landed again on Netflix. And
It was November 2018 when the two authors announced a TV series entitled 1899 whose first teaser was made public last May. The trailer alone had already upset the audience, promising suspense mystery and a good dose of Horror that would have played with the viewer’s mind from the first second.
So today we ask ourselves: has the trailer kept its promises?
Here’s how he kept them!
Plot of 1899: in search of a better future
1599 passengers of different nationalities and social backgrounds travel on the Kerberos, the ocean liner direct from Europe to America, with only one hope: to live a new life on the other side of the world.
Maura Franklin (Emily Beecham) However, he seems to have a completely different kind of skeletons in his closet as does Erik, the enigmatic ship’s captain (Andreas Pietschmann). When Kerberos discovers a ship that has been missing for months, everything will begin, taking an unexpected turn. What the passengers will find inside the ship will transform their journey to the promised land into a gigantic one Rubick’s cube and a dense network of secrets that will unite each of them.
1899 review: finally something interesting on netflix
Without beating around the bush, we will say that 1899 is the most interesting product recently landed on Netflix, which continued to give us the usual TV series and films that had very little substance (apart from some exceptional cases of course).
We are facing a new mystery series, with a large dose of action and healthy horror, testified by shots with detail in the medium field and dark colors, which promises suspense and confusion to the viewer from the first frame. We are not watching Dark, even if it seems obvious, we must keep it in mind because probably some criticisms reserved for this new series derive from the fact that we expect the exact same product or at least the same hype second after second.
Tension, suspense, murders with methods never seen before, enigmatic assassins and a great variety of characters, in fact, are all elements that we also find in this new series. If in Dark, Friese and Ordera couple in life as well as artistic, took great inspiration from the masterpieces of Stephen Kingeven here we cannot fail to notice disturbing elements that recall those works, one among all Shining, brought to the screen in 1980 by Stanley Kubrick. Corridors in a chessboard that seem to never end and the feeling of being locked up without knowing what is happening, immediately highlight the inspiration of the authors, accentuated by a lighting of the scene specially created to immerse the viewer in the deep gray of the psyche, through a technique impeccable worthy of Hollywood movies.
Recensione 1899: What is Lost will be found
If on Dark the authors played perfectly with quantum physics, here they play with the psyche, with the mind and its processes, with memories but also with dreams, entangling the story when Daniel makes his disturbing arrival on the ship, wearing a black coat and collar well turned up a bit like The Sandman. But what is her role? We will never know for sure until the end, because what is certain in the fabulous screenplay of the Frisian is that nothing is as it seems. If you are convinced that you have discovered something, rest assured that in the scene after your castle will collapse inexorably leading you to not understand anything of what you are seeing until the last scene of the last episode (and unfortunately not even there). This is a great merit of the two creators of the series: being able to surprise until the last minute is not easy; making six plot twists in two episodes, sequence after sequence without incurring triviality, boring, exaggerating and above all without creating plot holes, trust me it’s not easy at all!
1899: the contrast of music
From the first scene we understand that we will be catapulted into madness, never a better way to tell the human mind: between pyramids, asylums, toys and slightly disturbing smiles, on the notes of a deep and chilling soundtrack, alternating with evergreens in contrast with the scene which thus make the context wonderful. The authors play with the music, closing each episode with a milestone, seemingly at odds with what you’re going to watch.
1899: cast and characters
If we add to all this, a varied dose of characters with their subplots, perhaps in some cases underdeveloped (which perhaps will develop in a second season) never in contrast with the main plot, told through flashbacks in warm colors, in contrast with what they are going to tell and in full LOST style, the broth in the pot becomes even more interesting. We have Angel (Miguel Bernardeu – Elite) and Ramiro (Jose Pimentao), Status (Maciej Musial), Tove (Clara Rosager), Lucien (Jonas Bloquet) and still others, intent on meeting a future to explore trying to leave their past behind. We know each of them thanks to the Flashbacks, for this reason we venture a narrative similarity with Lost, the cult that will never stop being talked about above all for that trash and for that ending to forget. Each story in one way or another fascinates us, someone a little more, it’s inevitable. However, all the stories reach their goal: to tell the character, further entangling the web of secrets. A diverse cast from all parts of Europe for a specific goal. Frisian e Bo Odan they announced the series in 2018, when Brexit caused a sensation in our continent, stating that they wanted to tell Europe as a united and collaborative country in a single goal. It is no coincidence that the series is recorded entirely in multilingual, each actor acting in his native language.
1899: attention to detail
1899 stands out in the genre it represents thanks to a precise script full of details, always framed from detail to medium shot with a zoom out. The symbology is a constant in this screenplay you represent a sort of Escape Room in which each door leads to another narrative. The clues are everywhere, starting with the book of Kate Chopin “The Awakening” that Maura is intent on reading, to move on to the myth of Plato’s cave and finish with what it all begins with, a poem by Emily Dickinson told with a specific take. That type of shot is a great clue, too bad the authors are good at masking everything by making us make connections only in the finale after yet another twist, even feeling a bit idiotic.
In short, ladies and gentlemen, if you have not yet seen 1899, equip yourself with patience, pen and paper and correct yourself to study rather than watch this series. From November 17 on Netflix, with 8 episodes full of delirium, 1899 awaits you. Meanwhile, we are waiting for Netflix to confirm the second season, also because I don’t think it wants a revolution considering the cliffhanger of the finale. Joking aside, we really hope there will be a continuation, but above all that something else will be discovered in the next season (we won’t go into detail so as not to make spoilers, but once the vision is over you will understand what we mean) because otherwise in this case, as usual say, the theater has already fallen and the series may lose interest.
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