Maniac Review: Emma Stone Is Here To Have You Stoned
Daring, strange and brilliant- that is everything we have to say about Netflix’s latest psychological miniseries. No wonder that the creative voices behind The Leftovers and True Detective were pulled in to craft this obsession-worthy laborious show. With an ambitious narrative the show swings around fantasy, delusion, alt-reality, flashbacks, and hallucinations. Everything is intricately bizarre, yet captivating- the show will lure one into watching it, in fact into binge watching it. The plot developments are agile and acute and every dialogue carries some sense of dubiety- perhaps this is where the whole setup unravels.
It’s a show with echoes of “Black Mirror,” “Legion,” and, most of all, the “International Assassin”. The resonance of mental illness is profound, palpable and clear. Maniac sticks around to open up harsh but ingenious truths about mental ailments. It sways cunningly to get a grasp on the human condition, much unlike other shows. Maniac is ideally the best example of genre exploitation; the dark comedy is horribly fun to watch when in reality it’s having you emptied.
The story revolves around Annie (Stone) and Owen (Hill), two people somewhere in their twenties suffering from repressive trauma and like mental ailments. To call for a more dramatic, logical explanation to the quirky things going around, the story bases itself in a futuristic New York. There everything that we predict today for the future comes to sense. There are no emotional connects and everything wraps up in money-making gigs. You can even sell your likeness for various ads and stock photos, as Annie has done, which means that when Owen bumps into her at a purported pharma trial for a new drug, he both feels he already knows her and fears he’s hallucinating her. He was shown diagnosed with schizophrenia
The visuals are also splendid. It’s not just the content, but the screening to has been fueled with ingenious creativity. The impending world of “Maniac” is a charming, picturesque envision of the times to come that is both futuristic and pleasantly classic. The nerve center for the test subjects is loosely, but smartly inspired from Nostromo’s deck in the alien. The computer brings a lot of advances to the table, and its technology does not go the extraordinarily modern way, instead, it carries the essence of the 80’s aesthetic. There are purple-colored, intelligent robot Koala bears here to play chess against us, things are much more delicate, subtle and practically feasible. In this technology is more commonplace than ever, and it is here to give the only convenience.
The only thing that has grown worse over time is this lack of warmth. Relationships are of no avail, sentiments are almost nonexistent. Even after having everything, there is a lack of reason for life. None of that will change with new drugs or breakthrough technology, and “Maniac” understands the inconsistency of things like depression and mental illness in ways I haven’t really seen since “Legion,” another show that seeks to mess with your mind in order to unlock something truthful about it.
Gust characterizes the performances in the show. Stone and Hill haven’t been affected at all by this giant genre jump, they are just as pleasing as they are in other shows, which are more rooted to the ground. They are kindled with brave oddity and this compliments the plot in a noteworthy way.
“Maniac” was a big bet by Netflix; based on a Norwegian series that’s been sufficiently augured stateside and with tonal leaps and transitions in time and place. Netflix has masterfully crafted an engaging fable, remaining within the constraints. It conveniently passes over every obstacle, and will predictably be a fine contender in next years Emmy race.