Andrea’s film review – Severance

Severance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Review by Andrea Carnevali

Mark leads a team of office workers whose memories have been surgically divided between their work and personal lives. When a mysterious colleague appears outside of work, it begins a journey to discover the truth about their jobs. Available to watch on Apple +

I’m a couple of weeks late to the party, but I’m happy to report that this series is really as good as everybody says it is!

Who would have thought that one of the slickest, most thought-provoking, audacious, satirical and innovative series would actually come from the mind of Ben Stiller?! Yes, you heard me right: the same guy who gave us Zoolander, Night in the Museum and Meet the Fockers. However funny those films might be (for some), I never thought he had this sort of stuff in him.

The title refers to a procedure by which employees of a big corporation called Lumon “sever” their brains (by implanting a chip in them) so that they forget anything of their outside lives once they start working in the office and vice versa. So basically none of them has any idea who they are in real life and once outside they have no knowledge of the work they do, until it transpires that things are even shadier than they appear…

This is one of those creepy mind-bending mysteries that starts quite slowly but then builds up to an unnerving finale. All drenched in an atmosphere that resembles a cross between an Orwellian novel and Kafkaesque dream and a hint of Beckett for good measure.

Clearly it is all a metaphor for big corporations and we as workers feel trapped in our daily (possibly meaningless) jobs. But I’m probably making it sound a lot heavier and boring that in fact it is. Part of the joy of this is learning little by little some of the secrets hiding behind.

This is what Lost should to be without the pointless padding and with a lot more style.

Unpredictable, intriguing, ambitious and constantly surprising, this is really the most impressive TV series of the year and possibly beyond.

Yes, it could be a bit tighter (most series could) and there were moments where it felt bordering on indulgence (especially half-way through the season), but having seen it all and especially the gripping finale, I can hardly complain. I had a ball with it. My only complaint is that the cliff-hanger at the end made me want to wish I were one year older so that that I could watch the season two straight away!

The amazing cast includes Adam Scott, John Turturro, Christopher Walken and a terrifying Patricia Arquette, I mean, do I need to say more?

After what felt like being slapped on the face by loud sounds and chaotic visuals from that mumbo-jumbo that was the latest Dr Strange, it’s great to be reminded of what really clever sci-fi is able to do.

This may not be a light watch, but it’s a compelling and ultimately a rewarding one! Highly recommended.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick

Severance is available to watch on Apple +

See all Andrea’s film reviews here: Film reviews by Andrea Carnevali

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