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Why the Dark series is a quarantine must watch

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For some ill-fated reason, our first year philosophy lectures were scheduled to run from 2pm to 5pm twice a week. This timing was not welcome among the student fraternity and some chose to lounge in the hostel while others saw an opportunity for setting up rendezvous with potential better halves during the lesson. Those who did not forfeit the lecture turned up for the class with lazy eyes and yawns lodged in their throats. The afternoon heat coupled with the lecturer’s toneless voice was a guaranteed invitation to snooze fest. Who turns down an on the platter sort of invitation? Certainly not campus freshers. The highlight of my afternoons would be me picturing the male lecturer in a muumuu dress dancing to a slow Hawaiian tune. It used to rip me up.

Somewhere along the semester a lecturer swap took place. Our new instructor did not take kindly to the snoozing ritual we had grown fond of exhibiting during the lesson. He came up with an intriguing way of keeping us alert despite our full bellies and the surrounding warm conditions. He introduced stories and demonstrations to trail his every lecture.

For instance, when he was explaining the difference between Hedonism and Narcissism, he indulged us in an Iliad based on Greek mythology where a young beautiful god fell in love with his own reflection in the river. In order to point out the bitter side of being self obsessed, the lecturer pinpointed that Narcissus, the Greek god, died by drowning. This occurred when he was reaching out to grasp his own reflection. By the time three hours were over, no one had attended the famous snooze fest.

In one particular lecture on critical thinking, the new lecturer gave us a dilemma. He introduced the notion of time travel. The dilemma involved whether we would or wouldn’t kill baby Hitler with the knowledge of what happens when Hitler morphs into adulthood. The argument spiraled for hours as the class debated over the life of a child being sacred and the greater good. It was ingenious, the lecturer had made us attentive during an otherwise boring lesson.

The concept of time travel did not escape our minds even after the class was dismissed. We played a back and forth game of ‘what if’ inquiries. What would you change if you went back to the beginning of time? What time period would you want to live in if given the chance? What would it be like to pet a dinosaur if we went back in time?

The film industry has tried to gratify our curiosity regarding time travel by creating storylines with alternate timelines. One of these films is Dark, an original German series that made it’s debut on Netflix in 2017. The sci-fi thriller took the world by storm with its involving yet wildly twisted storyline.

In this article, you are going to catch a glimpse of the Dark plot and the film’s reception not to mention the reason why this particular series should join your quarantine watch list!

The Storyline

Dark has made it’s mark in the film industry with the series keeping their audience on their toes with each unwinding episode. The mere fact that the series fits five genres (supernatural, sci-fi, mystery, drama, thriller), is an added intrigue.

The story is situated in a small town known as Winden in Germany. It sets off on a curious note as we encounter an eerie suicide. An artist, Michael, who happens to be the father of the leading character (Jonas), is found dead in his home. The reason why this particular suicide is strange is because Michael’s mother, Ines, conceals the suicide note left behind by her son. Curious right? Wouldn’t a mother want to justify such an ordeal? Well not Ines.

After this snaring introduction, Jonas, a teenage boy makes his appearance. This is after he returns from a psychiatric facility where he had been taken during his breakdown over his father’s suicide. He goes back to school only to find his best friend, Bartosz and his former love conquest, Martha in a relationship. A student, Erik, from this school happens to have gone missing mysteriously a while earlier. The missing kid’s case is handed to Ulrich, Martha’s dad, who, get this, happens to be sleeping with Jonas’ mum. Yikes.

The plot begins to gain momentum when Jonas and his band of friends itch for a drug thrill and decide to seek out Erik’s stash of drugs. During this orchestration, Mikkel, Martha’s brother, vanishes without a trace. The following day, a body surfaces. It’s not Mikkel’s or Erik’s, it’s not even from their time.

Ulrich’s partner, Charlotte, discovers that the dead body is dressed in clothes from as far back as the 1980s. This reinforces Ulrich’s belief that the two missing teens cases are somehow related with his brother going missing when he was also a teenager.

Now here is the insanity of the plot. Mikkel, Ulrich’s son, wakes up and heads home. Only it’s not his home, in fact he quickly realizes it’s not even his time. Mikkel encounters various people from the year 2019 only that they are younger with extremely different personalities.

The creators of the film did not stop at these two alternate timelines. The year 1953 is also introduced and we get a good sense of the town’s dark history. This shady past plays a key role in the other two timelines.

The series continues to unravel a sinister time travel conspiracy which descends through four generations while still exhuming scathing secrets and weird entwines among various families.

Yes, I said four generations. Towards the end of season 1, we see some of our characters in the year 2052.

Fascinating right?

Wait until we go as far back as the 1920s. Season 2 and 3 are just as mind fizzing.

Dark’s Reception

The Dark series won the 2018 Grimme Preis award under the fiction genre. This is after several nominations of the film’s actors in various awards.
The criticism acclamation granted to the film in it’s first season was quite positive. The general public praised the tone, visuals, performances and complexity of it’s narrative. The same feelings have been presented regarding Dark season 2 and 3.

One particular film critic was asked for an opinion on Dark and said that; “Dark’s central mystery unfolds slow, both tense and terrifying, culminating in a creepy, cinematic triumph of sci-fi noir.” A review percentage of 89 was also given during this critic’s interview.

Reason to watch it during this quarantine period.

Apart from the intriguing plot and exalts from the majority of the public, this film shows how time travel affects human nature. The characters in the film are dynamic in the most fantastic way as they appear in different timelines. The ability of these actors to embrace their characters as they travel through time is quite awing.

Take the lead character for example. Jonas appears in the film as a young boy, a teenager struggling with his father’s suicide, a time traveler as an adult with a moniker of “the Stranger” and finally as an elder of a somewhat cultic group.

There are also blurry moral grounds we lightly step on as we apply different perceptions on particular matters.

All in all, this series has been known to initiate goosebumps, migraines and temporary heart attacks during the 44-73 minutes of a single episode.

So yes, download the three epic seasons of Dark, each with 26 episodes and immerse yourself in varied timelines as you unravel morbid truths about Winden. This series is perfect during this quarantine period.
I have to ask, baby Hitler, yay or nay?


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