The Netflix show 1899 from the first announcements it immediately attracted the attention of all fans, because the creators of this serial project are the same as Darka show that, with its complex plot and sci-fi and horror hues, has conquered the lovers of binge watching made in Netflix.
In 1899 the protagonists are a group of migrants who are traveling on a steamer that has America as its destination.
These passengers leave Europe and with it their old life, made up of misunderstandings, resentments and often traumatizing experiences.
A journey intended not only as a trivial tourist experience but as a real inner rebirth.
A SHIP WRAPPED IN MYSTERY
The initial stake of 1899 manages without delay to show off a remarkable atmosphere, thanks to the scenography that in great detail shows the naval ecosystem and with it the duties of those who work in this steamer.
Immediately stands out the representation, on the lower floors, of men who tirelessly refuel the ship’s engines with tons of coal with great effort, regardless of the unhealthy air that they breathe for hours.
There is also space to introduce the ship’s captain, Eyk Larsen (Andreas Pietschmann), a German actor that we have already seen right in Dark.
The latter appears as a calm man, also a victim of a past that reserved no mercy and that made him an involuntary spectator of a gruesome scene that will be impossible to forget for the rest of his life.
Another prominent figure in 1899 as Maura Franklyn (Emily Beecham), a combative woman who very soon finds herself investigating together with Captain Eyk about the mystery of the Prometheus ship, a huge boat abandoned in the open sea and without a crew inside.
The Netflix show will also highlight the disarming difference between the wealthier classes versus the poorer ones.
The passengers of the last class are confined in a humid, dark and narrow space on the lower floors of the boat, without the possibility of being able to go out into the open air when they feel like it, because a locked gate blocks their freedom.
As if this meant that people in need shouldn’t even aspire to enjoy the same air as those who flaunt wealth and alleged superiority.
IT’S TIME TO ENTERTAIN
After that 1899 gave the right space to the personal stories of migrants traveling to America, the Netflix show begins to show the true face of the script, made up of a story that mixes science fiction with some supernatural nuances.
The unusual and, at first glance, inexplicable events involving the characters of 1899 they manage to intrigue the viewer, who in a short time will begin to outline imaginative theories that involve them.
With the sighting of the ghost ship Prometheus the setting of 1899 he begins to change environments, a feature that reserves greater visual variety to the serial narrative, thus avoiding the risk of narrative claustrophobia if the story had developed only in the narrow cabins of the steamship.
But it will not be only the Prometheus to represent a potential turning point in the script, because the intricate plot will have the potential to show events unrelated to the present and attributable to exciting flashbacks of the characters.
THE STORY CONTINUES, THE EMOTIONS SCRAP
After having tested the initial atmosphere and having been committed to formulating curious theories about the fate of these unfortunate migrants, the idea arises that the characterization of the characters could be more incisive.
Looking above all at the investigative couple of Maura and Eyk, we understand how the latter related all too easily, without having been able to get to know each other in greater depth.
This choice of script makes the two characters more important than 1899 temperamentally one-dimensional and, above all, unable to instill affection in the viewer.
It is clear how 1899 gave more weight to the representation of the fanciful characteristics of the plot rather than the work of delineating the personality of Maura, Eyk and the other passengers.
In the final episodes of the Netflix series an attempt is made to repair this oversight, taking advantage of dutiful flashbacks to try to emotionally involve the viewer, who finds himself late involved, albeit with undue delay.
This feature of 1899 makes it a series that is successful in instilling curiosity and that manages to create a gloomy and engaging atmosphere, but which does not demonstrate the same effectiveness in instilling those genuine emotions that are felt when a character is described with a skilful use of writing .