The Handmaid’s Tail: more horrid and relevant in 2017 than it’s first publication three decades ago

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the-handmaids-tale-cover It’s more than a faithful adaptation, it expands the original source creating a dystopian future that is eerily relevant to our times. It’s not just joining the gender conversation, it’s demanding to be heard. Just three episodes down and Hulu inserts itself as a contender to Netflix and Amazon in producing the future of television and quality of content.

Reading the book the first time, I remember feeling appalled and paralysed by Offred’s world. I wanted to throw it across the room (I didn’t, that honour was given to Game Of Thrones). I couldn’t put it down though, because Margaret Atwood created a vivid and visceral slow-motion of a nightmare. And just like any nightmare, you feel trapped. Now it’s out of your dreams and has entered the screen. And you pray to the true God of Gilead, of Rachel and Lea, that it won’t crawl out of the screen, but it’s not far from your reality, because you’ve already experienced the echoes of it while riding the bus, or walking down the street, or in your last employment.

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This adaptation translated the book’s first-person narrative into voice-overs, inner monologues, breathtaking cinematography, soft lighting, and a cream-bright palette that makes the handmaid’s red robes stand out in striking contrast to everything else on screen. But it’s the acting that gives flesh and impact to the narrative. Dialogues are brief and muted, conscious of listening ears, and it’s their eyes that speak the loudest, especially in that heartbreaking ceremony scene.

This is a terrifying watch, especially to unwomen, gender traitors, and every other female who takes charge for her own body. Can’t wait for the next episode.

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