Russian Doll (2020)

Categories : Movie Reviews

Synopsis:Emmy-nominated actress Natasha Lyonne stars in this comedy-drama series as Nadia, a young woman who is on a journey to be the guest of honor at a party in New York City. But she gets caught in a mysterious loop as she repeatedly attends the same event and dies at the end of the night each time — only to awaken the next day unharmed as if nothing had happened. In addition to starring, Lyonne co-created the show with “Saturday Night Live” alum Amy Poehler and serves as a writer and director for the Netflix original series.Review:Looking at the premise or the trailer, everyone is bound to be skeptical due to this overused time-loop thing. But believe me, it is, atleast for me, better than almost any movie/tv show that has touched this idea before. At i think episode 2 or 3, you are introduced to a plot-point that changes everything and is a breath of fresh air into this super clich├ęd premise. Even before that the show feels so new, unprecedented and crazy good. It has a runtime of only 25 min per episode, but don’t think for a second that the show doesn’t slow down for the drama aspect to set in. The characters are extremely well written and you really are invested in their conflicts, their stories, their behaviour and the various subtle reasons behind them despite the episodes only being 25 minutes long. Although the show is stuck in a time loop, the character relationships and interactions never seem to disappointment and are new, many times. The same characters are doing something different and acting to something differently in another timeline/loop provide for an interesting combo when our main character interacts. Acting performances were some of the most refined ones of 2019 in TV shows. Natasha Lyonn was energetic as always. She has this way of delivering the most weirdest of dialogues in a natural way and that is on absolute display in this show too. She perfectly balances the character’s emotional, erotic and crazy side in a very realistic way with her performance.Charlie Barnett plays Alan Zaveri who is a guy that has OCD and is going through possibly the most painful night of his life. I haven’t seen much of him but here he delivers a very nuanced performance with equal parts emotional depth as well as display of anger and mental instability.Comedy was one of its kind, Amy Poehler was involved, so I didn’t have any doubts there. It was a really well directed dramedy. It made me laugh out loud and also made me care for the characters at the same time. That’s all I expect from a dramedy.Cinematography was decent and some of the camera angles in some scenes were really creative and impressive. BGM wasn’t really there that much but was perfectly fitting for the environment and plot of the show whenever it came on. Storyline was very good and storytelling was also perfect. They had 25 minutes of runtime so there weren’t any filler episodes or side-plots. Everything made sense for the endgame and i was always engaged in every thing they showed us. There was a episode that is filled with flashbacks, most shows fuck them up (looking at you, Arrow) but they really didn’t. The flashbacks didn’t feel as a distraction to main plot but delivered a meaning with them. Show wasn’t a hollow comedy either and was filled with “philosophical” themes for the people looking for some deeper meaningful elements. The ending wasn’t nearly close to what I anticipated and it was something that atleast I’ve never seen being done to this idea before.All in all, it was in top 10 or even top 5 best TV shows of 2019 and even though it had a short runtime, it didn’t feel rushed and played around really creatively with a overused premise providing something new that we’ve never seen before.Rating : 9.5/10

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