Web Series Review: The Handmaid’s Tale
|Series||The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)|
|Genre||Dystopian Sci-Fi Drama|
|No. of Episodes||30|
|No. of Seasons||3|
|Cast||Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski & Ann Dowd|
The story revolves around June, who has been separated from her family like many other women after the US government is overthrown by fascist forces, which are much more conservative and patriarchal in their conduct and notions. In this reconstructed society, the ‘law and order’ is set to benefit only a few chosen men, sitting at the high end of the command. Women can either be wives, Marthas (cooks), or Handmaids. The narrator of this story is a Handmaid, June. We see June’s wakening in the first season, her resistance is depicted in the second season and finally, her struggle to break free is shown in the third season. With a lot of drama and thrill, the narrative progresses slowly but with an accurate steadiness.
The plot has been written very well, giving accurate background to the running story. Even though a complete work of fiction, it still gives us an idea about how things could be if all the power is given to a polarised section of conservative men. Thus, in this hypothetical description, we are able to witness the extremities of a society under such control. All the insecurities around the politics of gender have been manifested in this series, very well. Though it progresses at a slow pace, it justifies the slowness by enriching the experience of the audience and preparing them for a greater blow at the end of every season.
The series has been rendered with a great lens and the perspective complements the overall aesthetic. A flawless work of direction can be witnessed especially at the beginning of the show when the audience is introduced to the world that is being talked about.
The representation is very smooth. Such complex and extremist ideas have been depicted very well. With respect to a great cast and well-written narrative, the direction has given the series a commendable milieu. It’s almost as if we become a part of the society of Gilead.
All the characters have been played flawlessly. Elisabeth Moss’s character of June has been the charm of the series. She has done a commendable job by depicting the pathos and agony of a handmaid, who has lost her family and identity. She has done it so beautifully that one cannot help but feel the pain, she’s trying to narrate through her character.
Ann Dowd who characterizes Aunt Lydia has also done a great job in representing the ambiguity of her character as an Aunt who has to train all the handmaids. Yvonne Strahovski rightly captures the apparent coldness that layers the warmth within, the character of Serena Joy. Joseph Fiennes and Bradly Whitford, compliment their respective characters of Commander Fred and Commander Lawrence, including the prudence that defines their positions.
The show is undoubtedly a complete package, with accurate drama. It’s been written well, directed well and performed upon, brilliantly. The whole cast fits aptly with their respective representations of Guardian, Eye, Handmaid, Martha, Wife, Commander and a Survivor; oppressor or the oppressed.
The show will make you imagine the extreme scenarios of the underlying ideas our reality is still overshadowed with. ‘What is the intentional fallacy, when it comes to reading religious scriptures?’ is something that the show dwells upon. For the sake of all the critical acclamations that the show has received, you cannot miss watching it!