The premieres of the week: streaming, film and theater reviews, from The Menu to the new series from the creators of Dark

The premieres of the week: streaming, film and theater reviews, from The Menu to the new series from the creators of Dark

This week, The menu -starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult and Ralph Fiennes- became the biggest theatrical release. The magnetic presence of the American actress who lived a large part of her childhood in Argentina adds attention to a film that addresses with enormous irony some consumption habits reserved for some social sectors with access to money and power. In streaming, meanwhile, the expected 1899 -created by Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, the duo behind the series Dark– It is presented as a science fiction adventure in which the supernatural gives way to various subplots and enigmas to be solved.


The menu

The Menu – Credits: @Photo Credit: Eric Zachanowich

The menu. In exchange for an inconceivably high price, only twelve people have access to the exclusive multi-course molecular gastronomy menu prepared by chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) on a remote island. There, all the ingredients are cultivated, cared for and prepared with the same meticulousness used to serve them.

The guests submit to the elaborate ritual and the unquestioned authority of the fickle chef, convinced that in this way they mark even more differences with the rest of the world. In this vanity fair there are young businessmen from the multimillion-dollar finance economy, some movie star gone down, a wealthy couple sunk in boredom, a culinary critic as fatuous as the chef, and a boy with the air of a pedantic connoisseur (Nicolas Hoult), who changed his companion (Anya Taylor-Joy) at the last minute.

She is the only fish out of water in a scenario that will become increasingly disturbing and terrifying. The game works very well at first, between mocking notes on the behavior of the owners of the money, the implementation of the rules imposed by Slowik in his kitchen, plenty of black humor and a diabolical plot that begins to unfold, says Marcelo Stiletano in your review.



1899 – Credits: @Netflix

1899. This Thursday, the streaming platform premiered the brand new fiction of the creators of Dark who, although they have tried to emancipate themselves from their great success, also establish several points of contact between both productions. 1899 It suffers from the sum of narratives that are sometimes free, with only six episodes to introduce a wide range of characters. The fiction, exclusively set on a steamship, the Kerberos, was born from the idea of ​​the creative duo of twinning not only individuals with dissimilar traumas but also crew members born in different countries (and with conflicting socioeconomic realities). such as France, Poland, Denmark and Spain, to name just a few.

In the first episode we already perceived how the fiction seeks to make a sort of panning of its characters, a risky bet that implies a commitment to each one of them. For the fourth chapter, very few stand out with an attractive “origin story”, as in the case of the ship’s captain, Eyk Larsen (the German Andreas Pietschman), by Ling Yi (isabella weiin a welcome unaffected performance) as a geisha in a constant state of oppression, and Maura Franklin (Beechamexcellent as always), a doctor who faces masculine prejudices at the time of practicing her profession when the trip to New York that the Keberos undertakes begins to get weird. 1899 brings together its characters when they themselves -who avoid interaction with third parties because of the demons they carry- find no other alternative than to dissect why, four months after its disappearance, the infamous ship Prometheus approaches with a request for help to which very few want to attend.

In your reviewMilagros Amondaray explains that, like Dark, in 1899 the characters find themselves locked in a microworld that they can only unlock if they investigate what is happening on another plane. In this case, on that drifting ship whose only survivor is a child. The disruptive presence of the child is the kickoff of that fusion between past and present, when the most abject experiences of these emigrants stop being an abstract memory to gain weight and, with aplomb, torment them in that scenario in which every nook and cranny seems to hide symbols. that question them. In tune with this, each chapter of 1899 concludes with a montage in which a fact is revealed to us with a song that makes each tragedy acquire an epic proportion, one of the hallmarks of the showrunners.

The Prodigy

The prodigy – Credits: @Netflix

The Prodigy. In an Irish village, shortly after a gigantic famine that hit the region around 1860, lives Anne O’Donnell, a girl to whom her countrymen attribute a miracle: she has not eaten for several weeks without her body having accused of visibly this anomaly. The religious connotation that this behavior initially has leads the group of “notables” of the place to decide to summon a nun in order to observe the girl and understand, among other things, why she says that her only food is “manna”. from the sky”.

It’s not the only one. Along with her, Lib Wright (Florence Pugh), a professional nurse, also arrives at the place from London. In that committee that somehow directs the destinies of the place, in addition to the mayor, the parish priest and the owner of the only inn-hotel in the place, there is also a doctor. Some explanation from science seems necessary to complete the picture.

The girl and the nurse will begin to build a strange and uncomfortable bond based on the little they have in common: the pain of a loss, a feeling of guilt that does not stop growing, and the need for some kind of atonement. “Pain is the sword of God,” Anna muses at one point from her sickbed. The sacred representation that the girl makes in her prayers is the most lacerating. She constantly invokes the protection of the cross, which leaves visible the traces of “the precious blood of Jesus”.

Behind those words stands one of the favorite themes of Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio: exacerbated, almost mystical religiosity, imposed as the governing mandate of daily life and a formula capable of replacing the truth. “His actions are faith and prayer,” he says at one point to explain his behavior. The entire film is dedicated to questioning these types of statements. First of all, he wonders about the meaning of sustaining a complete existence from a single foundation. A raison d’être based exclusively on religious precepts and the world understood as a painful path to the ultimate paradise, he writes in your review Marcelo Stiletano.


Balthazar against oblivion

Baltasar against oblivion – Credits: @Cristian Holzmann

Balthazar against oblivion. It is a moving chronicle about sadness, loss. The sadness of having lost a mother who knew how to raise her children alone, only by dint of sacrifice and doing jobs, whatever, outside. For being alone and with children, in a town in Entre Ríos and for dating men, she was labeled a whore. And that insignia, to Renata, as detailed by hers, her son Baltasar de ella, the protagonist of this piece, she did not care. She knew that she had to deal with society, largely hypocritical, from “good people” who hid one and a thousand secrets and kept quiet when they had to speak. But of course… Renata was a single woman with two young children… and the victim ends up being the culprit. Even more so when it is presumed that the murder was not the work of just one, but of several. Because Renata’s corpse, beaten to death, proved that she was raped. In town, according to her son, they know who the culprits were, but they will never say it, there is a silence that covers up. Baltasar decided not to forget and to look silently and in the face of the culprits when he crosses them on a street in that town where he was born, in the province of Entre Ríos.

The work is based on the novel by Mauricio Koch –published in 2020–, which they say is based on real events. And if it were not like that, what is related is part of the chronicles of the newspapers. It is a cliché that is repeated and it is said that it is done so that this does not happen anymore, but cases like this continue to feed the police chronicles every day. Those who remain and were linked to the victim, like Renata’s son, Baltasar, treasure memories of his mother, his brother with mental problems, his dead grandmother. “I have rage accumulated in my guts”, says that almost adolescent boy, while telling the public the details that he writes down in a blue-covered notebook. The memories that he accumulates on sleepless nights or tries to fix in her mind so as not to forget, never to forget her mother. That mother who made pororó to him and her brother, or that she called them `opa`, but she never left them alone, highlights the critic Juan Carlos Fontana.

The premieres of the week: streaming, film and theater reviews, from The Menu to the new series from the creators of Dark