Illuminated: series with Wagner Moura on AppleTV is a bomb – 06/23/2022 – Luciana Coelho

There’s little chance that a series with a talented cast, careful production and attractive premise will go wrong, but “Iluminadas”, AppleTV+’s bet with Elisabeth Moss and Wagner Moura, managed to do it.

It’s almost seven hours of a story that is supported by good performances and characters at first glance well constructed to hook the viewer for several episodes and then collapses into a hodgepodge of feminist revenge, suspense and elements of supernatural and disappointing science fiction.

There was no lack of warning from those who read the book of the same name by South African Lauren Beukes, but, because the combo brought praise from writer Stephen King, the smart production of Leonard DiCaprio and the delight that is to see Moss, Moura and Jamie Bell on stage. (who two decades ago was the dancing boy in “Billy Elliot”), it was worth taking a chance.

There are interesting elements in Beukes’ plot, adapted here by showrunner Silka Luisa.

The protagonist, Kirby Mazrach, suffered a violent attack in which the attacker left her disemboweled for death and now has trouble discerning what is real. Upon learning of a murder with similar characteristics, she, who works in the database of a Chicago newspaper, decides to tell her story to experienced reporter Dan Velazquez (Moura, speaking in English, Spanish and Portuguese).

Soon the two will discover more victims, an eternally young psychopath and an exceptionally long run.

The intensity that Moss gives to Kirby’s disturbances and the detail with which Moura composes his character, a single father, dependent on alcohol, whose once brilliant career staggers, give “Iluminadas” a ballast of respect.

Other members of the cast – Bell, Philippa Soo (“Hamilton”), Madeline Brewer (who starred with Moss in the now classic “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Chris Chalk (from “The Wicked”) are up to par.

Excessive ambition in production, however, turns out to be a trap. The clues left throughout the episodes, urging the viewer to follow, in the end are returned in a poorly stitched and abrupt way.

If the central duo presents layers and nuances, the villain lacks convincing motivation, and as much as Bell makes his torment palpable, he lacks elements to explain it.

The free-style amalgamation of sci-fi precepts that other recent series, such as “Russian Doll,” have masterfully used doesn’t help either. The comparison only diminishes the new series.

Apple recently presented a masterpiece, “Rupture”, and garnered prestige with excellent (and varied) productions such as “The Morning Show”, “Ted Lasso”, “The Psychiatrist Next Door”, “Pachinko”, “Mosquito Coast”, “Servant”—impressive list given its late entry into this market.

“Illuminated”, however, has a lot of great wasted ingredients. Feather.

All eight episodes of Shining are available to subscribers on AppleTV+

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