Roar is an anthological series that celebrates the alienating power of women

Roar is an anthological series that celebrates the alienating power of women

There are those who argue that, in the mare magnum of today's TV series, anthology series make little sense. Roar, the new production available on Apple TV + from April 15, demonstrates with some conviction, however, the opposite. Because in a world of series of six, eight, twelve, twenty-four episodes that we are forced to devour in a binge watching craze, or to wait from one week to another with frenzy and fear of spoilers, the television anthologies instead lead us back to a more moderate and thoughtful dimension, as if we could unwrap one candy at a time and enjoy it when we need it most. And precisely Roar is like this, in its strengths and weaknesses: the fact that it comes from the creators of that gem that was (using the past is still painful) Glow, Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, taken from the collection of short stories of the same name by Cecilia Ahern (the author of Ps. I Love You) is already a guarantee.

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Each of the eight episodes' entitled "The Woman Who ..." ("the woman who ..."), a sentence completed by an action usually rather bizarre, and by the more or less psychedelic image of a female mouth screaming at the top of her lungs. From these premises it is clear that this is a decidedly feminist series, indeed that it wants to be a portrait of "what it means to be a woman today". It does so by using a different style and cast in each episode, but keeping all these stories connected by a sort of alienating, if not disturbing, thread: in some episodes horror and science fiction are touched, but what dominates is a humor. black and a composed yet explosive drama. The women in this roundup are authentic, fragile, fierce, indecisive, diminished, invisible or at the same time highly visible, especially in various ways they resist a world that tries to pigeonhole them in a unique way.

Roar's strength certainly lies in its cast of stellar protagonists: Issa Rae is a writer who literally disappears in the face of Hollywood racism; Nicole Kidman, to react to her mother's Alzheimer's disease, begins to consume the photos of her own childhood; Betty Gilpin adds a new, concrete meaning to the word trophy wife; Cynthia Erivo is a new mother who returns to work but begins to be devoured by strange (re) bites; Merritt Wever talks to a duck; Alison Brie is a young woman who has to investigate her own murder and so on. Pregnancy, motherhood, career, racism, love affairs, marriage: there are many themes addressed here with an always surreal attitude, even if at times the impression is that certain metaphors are all too brash and literal, almost as if the ideological structure mattered more. than narrative naturalness.

Apple Tv + This does not prevent Roar from being an extravagant, indefinable and therefore even more fascinating object. And its charm almost always lies in taking viewers to territories that are all too well known (especially to the spectators, one imagines) and for this reason even more disturbing, even if there is no lack of sighs of relief, moving moments, bittersweet laughter. Of all the interpretations, Kidman strikes once again, who in his numerous television roles in recent years has found a way to express all his nuances: in his episode the duel with Judy Davis, who plays his grumpy mother, is highly emotional and sagacity, immersed in the Australian landscape (and accent). Also notable is Gilpin, who at one point explodes into movements that seem almost contemporary dance, halfway between Pina Bausch and Fatboy Slim's Weapon of Choice. Do not miss the very last look of her, right in the final seconds of her episode, that the actress addresses in the room: that is enough to express all the confidence and pride that Roar wants to embody.

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