Netflix's cursed review - A wannabe feministic take on Arthurian legend that fails miserably
Image Credits: IMDb
Cursed is based on the Graphic novel of the same name by Frank Miller, Tom Wheeler. The duo has created the Arthurian legend in the perspective of Lady of the river, Nimue. Netflix is now in a trend to produce graphic novels like The end of f***ing world, I’m not okay with this etc. As there is a great fan following for the Arthurian legend this show got his hype when it started filming. And also after the recent sensation Witcher, the audience is expecting more from the fantasy genre. So the series has a lot to satisfy.
The series starts with the note like “There is a story lost to the mists of time. About the Sword of Power, and the young woman who wielded it. Before Arthur, the King, the Sword of Power chose a queen.” The story opens in the Fey (Fairy in this world) village where Niume (Katherine Langford) walks around the forest where we are shown the richness of the forest in a good CGI. Nimue is a girl who was bullied by all the villagers in her childhood, even now she’s not welcomed in the village. Just her mother the priestess Lenore (Catherine Wilson) and her friend Pym (Lily Newmark) are one’s who love her. After the eclipse, Nimue lost her temper and decides to leave the village she was accompanied by her friend Pym. Their plan failed so they wander around the town market where they find Arthur((Devon Terrell) a Sell-sword. Yup in this he’s not the Chosen ruler of the great Britannia in this universe. Arthur and Nimue get attracted and Arthur helps Nimue escape from the guards. While returning to the village Nimue sees her village is being attacked by the Red Paladins a religious’s group as like The Sparrows in the Game of thrones. Nimue mother on her last breath asks her to deliver a package to Merlin (Gustaf Skarsgård). Your right the same great Socceror Merlin from the Arthurian legends. But in this world, he’s a drunkard and magic lost magician. Who’s characteristic is changed as per this world.
Image Source: Cnet
During the journey, the Nimue was chosen to hold the Devils’s tooth / Sword of the first kings ( the audience probably knows the sword is Excalibur originally). In the course of time, Nimue has become the leader of the Frey (Like DaenerysThe dragon queen) she is being fondly called as “Wolf Blood Witch, dreaded wielder of the Devil’s Tooth”. Did she find Merlin? What did she do with the sword? Did she becomes the female version of the Arthur the great? We have a lot of questions which might be answered in the series.
The performance of Katherine Langford was awesome. After her role as Hannah Baker in 13 reasons why She has git a great part in this one.As the whole burden of moving the plot is on her. Her characterisation like a vulnerable, scared girl who in course of time becomes the leader of the folk.Peter Mullan who plays Father Carden the leader of the Red Paladins has done a commendable job. His character will be hated by all viewers. Getting everyone to hate you is really tough Peter Mullan has done this with ease. There’s also one character who’s identity I don’t want to reveal who has done a great job. Like when the character appears in a frame who will be boiling with anger. Other actors have also done a decent job.
Image credits: LRMonline
The screenplay is so slow so it fails to engage the audience. The episodes are not ended with a great high point so the viewers are not so eager to watch the next episode(Some times it feels like ENPT voiceovers). As we feel like snoozing in between the episodes. The series could have been trimmed well into 8 episodes which could have saved it. The sequences where Arthur and Nimue are together is so romantic. But it gives us the feel of teen drama, not a fantasy drama. The battle sequence are so absurd and didn’t give us any chills while watching it. The one on one battles between the weeping monk and others is quite good. The CGI works were not up to the mark for a fantasy series. As after seeing Witcher the audience are expecting nearly that kind of standard. Some of the sequences just give us the feel of theatre performance of a novel.
Image Credits: IMDb
Some characters which introduced as great characters have lost its arc at the end. Like, Uther Pendragon (Sebastian Armesto) who was showed initially as weeping king and turns into a cruel king just for a bit and he’s gone missing. The creators have devices merlin character like Jack sparrow was quite good. But it won’t please the Arthurian fans as Merlin is known for his tricks. Many characters seem to be half baked. Creators could have worked hard in sharpening the character arcs. The series is stuck between Teen drama and Adventure drama. As there’s no seriousness conveyed on screen. Even though it has all elements for Fantasy adventure due to the slowness and lack of details it fails miserably.
Image Credits: Bloody Disgusting
As the creator manages season 1 to end in a high note with quite a good Cliffhanger. Let’s hope season 2 will engage us more.
Verdict: If you have read the Arthurian legend or seen any movies or tv series based in that this show will give you a bitter experience. If you just forget the Arthurian Legend story totally and see this as a fresh story this might work for you. On whole leaving the negatives this is a good attempt for adventure drama. This could have been a good watch if the episodes are trimmed.
Stream it if you have time and you won’t think much about the story.
Image credits: Netflix
Content rating: 18+
Available on: Netflix.
Bingeopedia rating: 2.5 / 5