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Dark review: This German mystery thriller is the best Netflix original series of the year

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Time is a flat circle, one of the protagonists from True Detective said to us. Doc from Back to the Future said going back in time can cause ripples across the space time continuum and alter the future, and the only way to not let this happen is by not causing any changes in the past. The Spierig brothers’ Predestination explained how the bootstrap paradox can actually exist in a multiverse and how messed up it could get if you become the central figure in the paradox. Rian Johnson’s Looper gave us a look into how real humans would cave in to the dark side once they have access to a continuum and murder weapons.

In the German supernatural mystery thriller Dark, we get a taste of all these elements and more, crammed into a tight, twisting, sprawling narrative compounded by a whole Twin Peaks like town of bleak characters and a mystery box that teases you into total submission.

It makes Dark the best Netflix original of the year.

Dark is also a little like Stranger Things – we’re introduced to a small German town called Winden which is near the woods, where kids are disappearing for an unknown reason, there are two timelines playing simultaneously and the lights of the town flicker on and off for an unknown reason.

A still from the show Dark.

But the way Dark unravels is far more thrilling and at times, shocking. This is not a fun kids’ show, this is a show filled with wrecked adults, cracking relationships, dark pasts, jagged motivations, evil streaks and a persistently austere, morbid atmosphere giving the stench of something nasty in the air. But despite the thematic and visual unpleasantness the show works best in the way it renders the rousing moments of wonder and discovery once we begin to strip away the layers of the mystery.

The director and showrunner of the show is Baran bo Odar, who has earlier made the terrific murder mystery The Silence and the kinetic hacktivist thriller Who Am I. Odar combines the filmmaking techniques of both those films in Dark – the box full of puzzle pieces left for the audience to put together along with the protagonist, and a flood of information injected in short bursts that demands your complete attention.

The information in question is tightly integrated, so even a ten second distraction will just derail your link to the show and its mysteries. Those used to gonzos like Twin Peaks will find themselves right at home, but those not accustomed to following the storylines of dozens of characters at a rapid fire pace will tend to rewind the story to catch up, more so because the show often flits from the past and present, showing us the same characters in different ages as we learn more about them.

It is in fact best to not know anything about the show before you watch it, let the element of surprise, cryptic imagery and puzzles grab you by the neck. Horror fans are in for a treat because this is an exquisitely creepy show, beauteous in its macabre. The tragedy of the missing children, lifeless birds that seem to drop from the sky, and sheep found lying on the ground in a field with no explanation for the cause of their deaths is almost poetic in how ghastly it is.

The town of Windell is stunningly realized, by the mid point of the show the geography of the town is absolutely clear in our heads. The torrential rain, the pitch black forest, the creepy cave, the mysterious nuclear power plant all become characters in the show rather than placeholders for the characters, all elevated by the ruthlessly ominous music and cinematography.

It’s also an extremely well cast and acted show – every single actor – from the kids to the adults – delivers a very strong performance – which was so important considering the number of people in the story. Their eyes betray their troubled nature, giving you a window into their past, which is such an integral part of solving the in show mystery.

The only downside to the show is that the story doesn’t end here, but maybe that’s a good thing because you’re left haunted and wanting more from the broken people of Winden as the battle between good and evil brews quietly in the woods.

Dark is currently streaming on Netflix India.


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Kevin Hart hints at rebooting Mrs Doubtfire after starring in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle

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Kevin Hart might be enjoying the positive response to the Jumanji reboot, Jumaji: Welcome To The Jungle, where he is starring alongside Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black, but the internet might be alarmed by his latest musings, a Mrs Doubtfire remake as reported by NME.

Kevin Hart. YouTube

Kevin Hart. YouTube

“I’ll stay on the Robin Williams train and say that if I could jump into Mrs Doubtfire,” said the actor-comedian in an interview to CinemaBlend. “That was a very amazing performance on both ends for him. I think that’s one I’d love to get to play in,” said Hart.

A reboot of the beloved 1995 Robin Williams hit Jumanji, where the characters got sucked into the world of a board game and have to fight for their survival, had Kevin Hart joining a new adventure, where Jumanji is a video game in its 2017 avatar.

However, since Robin Williams passed away recently and has immortalized the character of Mrs Doubtfire, fans of the film might not take kindly to a contemporary reboot of the film. The role will indeed prove very challenging for any actor to convincingly place himself in William’s shoes.

Perhaps, Hart should stay content with the fate of Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle and not worry about remakes of Robin William’s classics, and perhaps take a cue from fellow actor Jack Black who had chosen to pay his homage to William via less grander pronouncements.

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Ed Sheeran says he already has a James Bond track up his sleeve in case MGM wants one

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Ed Sheeran might have faced a surprising Grammy rebuff this year, but the British singer continues to ride high with two of his singles, one with Beyonce and another with Eminem, competing for the top spot just as the year is ending. Amidst all this excitement, the singer-songwriter has revealed that he already has a James Bond song ready to go in his kitty, in case they need him to do one, as reported by the Independent.

Ed Sheeran. Image from Twitter/@PopCrave

Ed Sheeran. Image from Twitter/@PopCrave

Sheeran appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden and discussed the possibility of contributing a track to a future James Bond movie. “With Bond, I’ve had a theme tune written for about three years, just in case,” he said, as reported by the Indepndent.

Even though he has not been approached by the makers of the Bond franchise with such a request yet, he said that the song he has already prepared is good but refused to reveal its name fearing someone might steal it.

Sheeran also said in the same interview that he had used the same approach for his song with Eminem. “When we did a song together, I had the song planned. So with Bond, if ever I’m called I’ll be like ‘here you go’,” said Sheeran.

While a reluctant Daniel Craig had recently confirmed that he is once again playing James Bond in the next film, the now unofficial tradition of a reigning music star to lend a soundtrack to the iconic franchise will continue, but who will be the latest artist to bag this coveted opportunity is not yet known. Sam Smith did the honours in the previous Bond outing and was criticised for a weak track that he had claimed he came up with in 20 minutes.

Ed Sheeran sure seems better prepared if he gets a call to compose the Bond track that might even put the talented artist up for an Oscar, perhaps the only recognition eluding the superstar so far.

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Rose McGowan calls out Meryl Streep, other actresses for planning silent protest at 2018 Golden Globes

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Rose McGowan criticised Meryl Streep and other actresses for allegedly planning a silent protest against sexual harassment at the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony in January next year.

Multiple sources told People magazine about the protest being organised by prominent Hollywood actresses — including presenters and nominees and it was later confirmed by Claudia and Jackie Oshry on their show The Morning Breath.

Meryl Streep and Rose McGowan. Agencies

Meryl Streep and Rose McGowan. Agencies

However, McGowan was not particularly happy about the ‘silent’ nature of the protest. She took to Twitter to express her dismay.

She wrote: “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”

She has since deleted the tweet.

McGowan, one of the first actresses to accuse fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape, decried what she believed was a pervasive culture of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and urged women to fight back. After leveling her accusations against Weinstein, there has since been a torrent of allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape against a man who had been one of the most powerful people in the film industry. The New York Times has reported that in 1997, Weinstein reached a $100,000 settlement with McGowan, then 23, after an incident in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. As the scandal snowballed, McGowan has emerged as one of Weinstein’s most scathing critics.

When Extra asked Streep for a comment, she replied: “I don’t know. I’m not talking. You gotta tune in, don’t ya?”

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