One of Netflix’s most awaited web series has hit the streaming scene – Alias Grace based on the Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel by the same name, which was also shortlisted for Booker Prize.
Grace Marks is a young maid of Irish-Canadian ancestry, who is suspected of the murder of her employer and his housekeeper. She is convicted for her employer’s murder along with James McDermott, a farmworker. While James is hanged to death, Mary receives life imprisonment. Fifteen years at the jail, Mary gets another chance at being proven innocent after various other failed attempts. This privilege she receives because of her good behavior in the jail.
Dr Simon Jordan is hired to psychiatrically evaluate Grace. In the middle of sessions with her, he develops a liking for Grace. In all her elegance and charms, the protagonist narrates her life story to Simon. She lost her mother in transit from Ireland to Canada. Staying with her eight young siblings and an abusive father, she took care of the entire family. Her father gets her employed as a maid, to make some money for the family.
Working as a maid, she meets Mary Whitney, who she terms as a life-altering friend who brought some colour and happiness, in her otherwise-dulls life. But when Mary dies after an abortion, Grace is back to being quiet and is very disturbed.
Nancy, a housekeeper for Mr. Thomas Kinnear offers her a job and Grace agrees to go away from her current employers and the memories of Mary. At her new employer’s, Grace attracts the romantic attention of other farm workers – James McDermott and a younger Jamie Walsh.
Despite not developing a liking for James, both of them are convicted for murder Mr Kinnear. What goes wrong, you will have to watch this Netflix original to know more.
What’s WOW? The best thing about the series is that you keep thinking whether Grace Marks is indeed the smart killer or it is the spirit of her friend Mary, which took over her and did the killings.
The era of 1850s is very well depicted and you are sure to get smitten by the big Victorian houses. Sarah essays the Irish-Canadian maid act quite well. Even after you have streamed the series, her unique accent will stay with you for some days.
What’s Blah? The series has the capability to sadden and amuse you at the same time, which can be a turn off for many streamers. Also, the duration of each episode would have been lessened a bit, at almost 60 minutes it seems unnecessarily long.
Parting Shot: There are too many deceptions in the web series that will make you question the final verdict on Grace. Despite that, you should watch Alias Grace as the efforts put by writer Sarah Polley are commendable.
Writer: Sarah Polley
Director: Mary Harron
Sarah Gadon as Grace Marks
Edward Holcroft as Dr. Simon Jordan
Rebecca Liddiard as Mary Whitney
Zachary Levi as Jeremiah the Peddler
Kerr Logan as James McDermott
David Cronenberg as Reverend Verrenger
Anna Paquin as Nancy Montgomery
Paul Gross as Thomas Kinnear
Alias Grace is now streaming on Netflix.
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