Tuesday, December 19, 2017

'Dark' by Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar

19 December 2017

I’ve just finished watching ‘Dark’ – the first German language commission from Netflix. This 10-part TV serial is a science-fiction thriller set in a small town in southern Germany. Superficially it has a lot in common with that other Netflix hit ‘Stranger Things’ (reviewed here in August 2016 and November 2017) but ‘Dark’ is much, well, darker. ‘Dark’ is written by Jantje Friese and directed by Baran bo Odar. It soon becomes clear that this is a time travel tale with an incredibly complex plot. To follow it you need to piece together a jigsaw involving three family trees over at least three generations, as you encounter many of the family members at several points in their lives – but not in the order you would expect. This family saga aspect, set in a small German town, reminded me of Edgar Reitz’s epic ‘Heimat’ films. ‘Dark’ also has elements of ‘Back to the Future’ and Steven Moffat’s brilliant 2007 Doctor Who episode, ‘Blink’ (starring Carey Mulligan). I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to unpick the complicated plot and it was terribly satisfying to work out some of the connections and twists just before they were revealed. The acting is great and the casting of the younger and older versions of each character is amazing. Highly recommended, with two caveats: don’t be tempted to binge-watch – you will need time between episodes to process what on earth is going on!; and make sure you select the original German-language version with subtitles rather than suffering the dubbed American voices.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home