Cursed: Here comes something different from most fantasy shows
For those who are big fans of fantasy shows, Cursed is a must-watch. It all starts with a sweeping shot of a pristine lake, which is completely surrounded by beautiful mountains. And, here comes the camera, going deep underwater, exactly the way the silhouette of a woman plunges through the aquamarine surface, a beautiful white ring is covering her.
Then comes an arrow that pierces her torso, her breath is a stream of bubbles and fresh blood diffuses through the water.
All these starting images can give you all the feels, and don’t forget to take a close look at the statement that reads- “Before Arthur the King, the Sword of Power chose a Queen.”
You can say that the actual hero of this latest Arthurian epic is a heroine and her name is Nimue (Katherine Langford). You must have seen her in 13 Reasons Why and Knives Out. She has already been made an outcast in her village due to her magical powers that are fearsome, she is the canonical lady of the Lake, and her mother to whom she always seems to disappoint.
Let’s have a comparison
If we compare this one with the recent female-led entries, you can count on this- Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Wonder Woman- her gender is sure to become a focal point for everyone, both the haters and lovers of the show. This won’t be less than shame, the reason is Nimue’s journey is extremely inspiring for all the female fans out there, and there is a lot more to explore in this show. There are some of the best visual styles, they are vibrant, and that’s what separates Cursed from all the other fantasy series.
Prepared in tandem with the illustrated YA novel, the same was published by the creators Tom Wheeler and Frank Miller, the show begins with a tragedy that can’t be defined in words. Right after a blow-up with her mother, Nimue tries her best but fails to reach a ship, and this would have sent her far from her home. As soon as she gets back to her place (her village) with her friend Pym, she figures out that a massacre is in progress. The pagan species of Nimue, called the Fey, have caused significant damage to the community, they have burnt homes in the village, they have dragged women to fates, they have crucified villagers, and everything they have done is well beyond imagination. While you can see many popular fantasy series bringing the scenes of sexual assault, Cursed keeps this kind of graphic at bay. Pym can’t be seen anymore. Nimue finally finds her mother, but the conditions are completely different, she is now mortally wounded with a sword in cloth grabbed in her hand tightly. She breathes, knowing the fact that something has to be done now, this must be taken to Merlin. This is probably the only thing that matters at the moment.
Merlin, to whom we met in the story, is someone who’s not actually beloved among the Fey, and is a washed-up alcoholic who is trying so hard to hide the fact that he has lost all his magic long ago. Also, they leave Nimue with some storage questions if those last words are all that a fantasy narrative needs. What is the relationship between her and Merlin? What should be the reason being Nimeu’s belief in someone with this mysterious weapon that is glowing orange in her grip? Why is this sword in her mom’s hands?
A political struggle is now making its way among the Red Paladins as well as among various human kings, where loyalty is making a constant shift, and the future of vulnerable Fey is something that is hanging in balance. Every other way in this medical world, this is something that neither sanctimoniously subverts nor sticks too closely to the mythological record. Arthur comes out to play as a mercenary, the role is taken care of by Devon Terrell, known so well for his exceptional performance as Barack Obama in the 2016 biopic Barry, and is a dashing love interest for Nimue. He’s extremely flexible and trying his best to prove that he’s a respectful warrior, and she is a sorceress with the purest of hearts, she has internalized the hatred that is shown to her by the community, it totally depends on them. With the help of a wonderfully scrappy orphan (Billy Jenkins, a few knights whose names you may feel are quite familiar, and a rebel nun (Shalom Brune-Franklin of Bad Mothers), they will give an attempt to save Fey from genocide.
Let’s be a little honest here, for someone who is a fantasy agnostic, this can be a personal quirk, that you may or may not be proud of, especially for those who never had an interest in CGI monsters, humanoids with pointy ears who are called Celebrimbor, or drawn-out battle scenes.
What made people love Cursed the most?
Most people felt Cursed compelled to binge its version of Arthurian England which is such a pleasure to watch, and yes, the female lead also proved to be helpful. The production designer Catrin Meredydd (Poldark) has come up with a palette of saturated colors, all of them bringing to the mind illuminated manuscripts, this includes skies that are pretty blue they’re almost psychedelic, Wheeler and Miller are not tricking the audience with various timelines, those beautiful and stunning emerald leaves, all these have taken the place of representations of the real or imagined past. All those wizards and dragons are comparatively very easy to imagine in medieval Europe as compared to people of color, and it is an effortlessly multiracial cast that fixes the problem in fantasy that exists for quite some time.
The approach fits really well
The approach is very well fitting for a show that is not too didactic as compared to all the other programming aimed at the YA set, that’s a big part that makes all the difference. The war of Red Paladins on the Fey is loaded with both the ignorant stereotypes each faction buys into about the other and the refusal of humans to live in a pluralistic society. Parallels are taking place between the systematic racism and conflict, the refugee crisis, and religious discrimination, it is a fact the writers are trying to avoid overdetermined equivalence or grib. Also, it adds a resonant wrinkle that some Fey are capable of physically passing as humans.
Yes, we can say that Nimeu is completely different and is a queen instead of a king. She has been leading a team of people with whom she has been living all her life as a pariah. You can call her a champion who is living with the guilt of a powerful sorceress who left her family and the village when she was needed the most. She is carrying with her a multifaceted personality who is neither a dark, self-loathing prestige antihero nor a stock hero. Langford differentiates the character further with a baby-faced vulnerability in a performance and balancing valor with petulance and this brings Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth into the minds of viewers. Newmark is playing the role of a teen who is facing girlfriend problems on sex education, she has been loved equally in the role of Pym. She is a sweetheart who is both adorable as well as awkward among dashing guys.