Netflix wants to take over the monopoly of our free time. There is no shortage of rivals, but for a long time it has occupied a privileged place among lovers of audiovisual fiction and today the only real threat that can be seen on the horizon is the future launch of a streaming platform by Disney. For that reason he has to find more bombs like ‘Stranger Things‘ and that’s where it seemed that ‘Dark‘ could go.
The mystery around ‘Dark’ has been maximum, showing the minimum to the public to capture their interest and generate expectations to see what exactly will come out of there. In Espinof we have already had the opportunity to see the first three episodes and we are in a position to tell you that it is not the new ‘Stranger Things’ but what we have seen so far is better than the entertaining series created by the Duffer brothers.
A town with a dark secret
The first thing that should be banished is the idea of waiting here for any kind of nostalgia for the eighties pop culture since the closest thing to it is a mention of Freddy Krueger in a conversation during the third episode but without having any intentionality similar to ‘Stranger Things’. What really reigns in ‘Dark’ is the mystery surrounding the secrets of a town with a murky past that nobody wants to talk about.
This gives rise to the atmosphere prevailing almost above all, seeking at all times to create a turbid climate with which to disconcert the viewer at the same time you are capturing your interest to know what exactly is happening there. Already from the first minutes, it is clear that there is something sickly behind these disappearances and perhaps the most obvious note is the occasional notes so that we know that something comparable happened a long time ago, but what?
Therefore, the tension is something that is palpable in the environment at all times and Baran bo Odar, creator of the series and also director of all episodes, takes advantage of it to show an unquestionable agility with the camera without that never remains to the drama of each scene. This is especially noticeable at the beginning when the Swiss filmmaker has to present a multitude of fronts, both to get to know the characters and their respective storylines.
‘Dark’ has a great start
He has no choice but to play at being cryptic on certain fronts to maintain the mystery, but he does it without stopping too much in anything. There may be some scene that a priori may give the sensation of reveling in the rarity of the situation through certain visual revelations with undeniable strength, but they are still new clues to be added to a puzzle that is still quite complicated to try to solve it.
In addition, ‘Dark’ also introduces a second timeline in a rather surprising way. It is undoubtedly linked to that past event that today remains forgotten by traumatized neighbors, who want to forget or who seem to care more about the welfare of their business than their neighbors. This also helps to give a greater variety to the small universe of the series and to open possible plot lines that we will have to see where they lead us.
For its part, the performances of all its cast are solvent without anyone really stand out from the rest, being marked by a cold interpretive tone in line with the atmosphere of the series. That will have to change obligatorily shortly because one thing is to opt for a compact result and another not to decide openly for something. So far there has been a lot of approaches, achieving a result close to the fascinating, being my only fear that then end up staying a little half-way or solving some of its most stimulating proposals in a poor way.
In short, the start of ‘Dark’ is very worthwhile, both for the excellent atmosphere achieved and the ideas with which he is playing. Now we just need to really have it all well thought out and not end up being as frustrating as trying to make a puzzle that is missing a handful of pieces. Whatever the case, these three episodes show that it can be a great series and only need to finish confirming it in the remaining seven.