The Essex Snake: The Contemporary Charm of Victorian Gothic

The Essex Snake: The Contemporary Charm of Victorian Gothic

The Essex Snake

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The snake of Essex, from 13 May on Apple Tv + looks like a costume folk horror: set in the late nineteenth century (the period of gold of the classics of the English genre), follows a wealthy London widow wandering through the misty Essex marshes in search of a mythical sea serpent that devours the local villagers. Inspired by the novel by contemporary author Sarah Perry, transposed into a six-part miniseries adapted by Anna Symon and directed by Clio Barnard, The Essex Serpent orbits a trio of fascinating figures: Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes, Homeland), country girl married to a wealthy, sadistic and obtuse man and "freed" from the death of her relative; Reverend Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston, Loki), parish priest of Blackwater skeptical of the creature's existence, and Dr. Luke Garrett (Frank Dillane, Fear of the Walking Dead), arrogant and obsessive surgeon.

The Essex Serpent - Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston Dean Rogers and unreal projection of the superstitious villagers' fears for Will. Its - presumed - existence relocates the dimension of the narrative to psychological drama rather than horror. Faith, science and myth collide in the positions of the protagonists and secondary characters, they screech and then seek a harmonious contact, they fall into the most sinister superstition and then test the beliefs of each. It is an intellectual series, The Serpent of Essex, perhaps too cold to even want to be the love story it aspires to. The love triangle between Cora (who after an existence of abuse and slavery is finally free to give vent to her intelligence - she is a naturalistic scientist - and individual freedom), Will (very subdued version of Byronic hero debated between affection for the wife and the attraction towards the widow) and Luke (the impetuous and immature suitor) is the real fulcrum of the story and the narrative choice of moving the setting back to London during the central episodes demonstrates this.

The Essex Serpent - Frank Dillane Dean Rogers an admirable finish. The figure of the widow personified by the good Danes is the heart of the series, the exemplary portrait of a vital, brilliant, elegant woman (her costumes are to scream), curious finally free to be all these things. Cautious and enthusiastic, naive and enterprising, she is also a woman who finds herself no longer very young to experience courtship, love interest and sexual attraction. Will is Charlotte Brontë's dream man, but with the allure and charm of Emily's Heathcliff: handsome, respectable, mildly haunted and irresistible like a Byronic anti-hero but without the darkness and tumultuous impetuosity of that model. , is embodied by what on paper is the ideal interpreter. However, the cheeky Tom Hiddleston finds himself, after wielding Loki's scepter for the first time, too comfortable in the flamboyant role to return a nuanced, modest and restrained actor's proof adhering to the nature of the reverend.

The Essex Serpent - Clémence Poésy and Tom Hiddleston Dean Rogers The result is a somewhat strangled interpretation, in which Hiddleston mimics a gloomy Hugh Laurie, evidently under strain to contain his egotism. Another matter for Dillane - with a much more Heathcliffian nature - who makes Dr Garrett an immature young man ostentatiously arrogant, passionate, intrusive and impetuous, who hides his self-doubt with arrogant and aggressive attitudes. His attitude is one of those who challenge divine patience, and who end up being debunked by one (or more) cruel blows. The chronicle of Cora's sexual awakening, the study of the elective affinities of the trio disturbed by the docile and discreet presence of Will's wife constitute a romantic drift, as mentioned, strangely cold. Regarding the ethereal Star by Clémence Poésy, the most evocative and iconographically memorable moment of The Essex Serpent is hers, when she lends herself to the subject of a pre-Raphaelite painting - halfway between Ophelia by Millais and Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse -, evanescent and mystical.

The Essex Serpent - Claire Daines Dean Rogers Merit of the director of photography David Raedeker, commendable for the talent shown in cloaking the visual dimension of a rarefied, diaphanous, dark and mystical allure. The blurred and desaturated landscapes from the fog filter, the feeling of desolation, affliction, magic and mystery of the English marsh, the gothic charm in which the dimension of the dream dissolves into that of the nightmare are the real strength of the miniseries that makes of suggestion a tangible reality. We will not reveal to you if the biblical monster really exists or is it just the mere manifestation of the fears of the superstitious and exhausted by disasters locals, but we can reveal that that ending that tears open the veil of suggestion to return the naked truth is satisfying and disheartening at the same time. Last thing, we give you the usual advice: immerse yourself in the Britishness of the series while keeping the original audio.

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