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Alias Grace: Quilting a mystery one episode at time.

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(Toronto, 28th April. O’kuroku) A cold blood murderer or a victim of the circumstances? That is the question with whom Alias Grace lures us into clicking play and keeps us staring at the screen while beautiful images describe a brutal and grim story.

During the first monologue you know that Alias Grace is going to be a great production. As it is said in business, this is the elevator pitch that makes you stay or leave. I hope you stay, because it is worthy.

There are multiple things well done with this drama, but for the sake of not doing spoilers, I will just do a short list of what I found to be more relevant:

  • Alias Grace, Female’s mental health .

I firmly believe this is the most important topic, along with the portrayal of the women’s role. It is not secret to anybody that women with poor mental health or even mental illnesses were often victims of abuse because of foolish studies around the female psyche that could be resolved if our rights were equally acknowledged and respected. What then seemed to be perfect and rational today can be easily tagged as infraction of basic human rights.

Just to clarify: Not only Grace, the protagonist, showcases what a mental illness can be and how it was treated, most female characters portrays endeavours that make you understand that things were not right for them neither and all of them were coping with something, being resilient.

Briefly, The drama revolves against violence, harassment, and repression. “Discomforts” (Heavy on the irony here, just saying) that were common for woman, of that time. Always facing them  in her daily life, no matter her position.

Now, as a female, I have to admit that not because some centuries has passed that means that this is not an occurrence anymore. Yes, now we have social media, internet and more laws in our favor but the violence happens the same and this drama address this topic showing how universal it is.

And that should not become just running water under the bridge.

  • Alias Grace, Production and Audiovisuals

The production of this series left me gagging. After Patty Jenkins, my new favourite director is Mary Harron, writer Sarah Polley and their team.

The use of the scenarios, the light, the colours. There are multiple shots in this show that are worth of a painting. They accompany the situation in a way that enhances what is being portrayed, but at the same time it stands faithful to the genre of historical/drama.

I am particularly fond of the cast choice for Alias Grace: Sarah Gadon’s performance is striking. Rebecca Liddiard and Anna Paquin displays are jaw dropping too.

As mentioned before, her monologue is stunning. I had to pause it and replay it again a couple of times to actually verify it was all one sequence and it was fantastic.

The general ensemble of music, lights, colours, cast and scenography are delightful. Almost as good as any HBO production if I might say.

If you are studying a design or a fashion mayor, this drama should be on your list. I believe that the interior design and the dresses are accurate enough to be studied and even if they are not, they still a pleasure to see.

  • Alias Grace, Women’s portrayal

The female roles in Alias Grace are diverse and well delineated to their function. They illustrate that women were  sort of “condemned”, strictly limited to one well-described role, by the society back then – and maybe still today?. All the encounters of Grace with another female enrich this concept and shows to the audience the huge spectrum of different women in different situations and how their resilience made them go through those challenges, already imposed just because the individual was born female at that particular time.

This miniseries is based on the same-name novel written by Margaret Atwood. A woman who was way advanced to her time (See Handmaid’s Tale) therefore her characters are also way advanced to their era but at the same, they keep that essence that goes beyond historical eras and can be identified with somebody we know.

I could go on and on, examining this piece of art but I would have to make spoilers and that’s not ideal.

To sum up, Alias Grace is a great Canadian production  that with some time at hand should be checked out. Extra point if it’s with your girls squad. Without any doubt Alias Grace a timeless classic, rich in form and substance, now available on streaming.

 

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