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"Black Narcissus" is a beautiful production but its melancholic tone is a hard sell to keep audiences sustained over three episodes.
It is succinct and well-told in the three hour-long episodes... But there are characters and themes that certainly could have benefited from intelligent expansion.
High praise also goes to Rosie Cavaliero as practical Sister Briony, and Patsy Ferran, whose vivid features act their way right out from under that veil.
This was soooooooo slooooooooow. It's a narrative about cloistered sexuality, and at various times you wanted to shout: can we uncloister the sexuality now? Get it all out in the open? And call it a day?
Danish cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen's (A Quiet Place, The Girl on the Train) TV directing debut certainly boasts plenty of searing imagery, talking points and opportunities for raised eyebrows.
Doubling as the director, Christensen is helped by an impressive performance by Gemma Arterton as Sister Clodagh.
The repression of desire in a lonesome spot turns into acting pyrotechnics in this version.
While it's got the standard BBC tentpoles of great locations and fine acting, we were left not only cold by the first episode, but thoroughly bored.
Black Narcissus is solid for what it is, and if FX was looking for its first entry to be good looking but unremarkable, it's scored well.
Audience Reviews for Black Narcissus: Miniseries
1d agoI really enjoyed this although I was left feeling like it could have been longer. Very dreary and almost gothic feeling at points. Very sad and dark story about repression and faith with a hint of the supernatural. Great performances by the cast.
2d agoBorderline incoherent
Jan 12, 2021A bit rubbish, pointless, depressing, drawn out. lots of adjectives to describe this three part series.
Dec 30, 2020I don't get all the hate surrounding this. I haven't read the book or seen the film, so maybe this is where comparative bias can seep in. Judging this on its own merits, I would overall say that they could have done better but they still created an engaging drama. Hats off to Gemma Arterton and Alessandro Nivola for their great performances that pretty much carried the show. From the first moment they met you could feel the undeniable chemistry between them. An interesting story which with a bit more time and effort could have been superb.
Nov 28, 2020Black Narcissus 1947 is one of my favorites. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw a mini series was being made, I vowed not to watch. I decided to give it a chance and I was entertained. I think they did a pretty good job. I did like the acting and the slight additions to the story while not changing the story I'm familiar with, yes there was a bit of extra filler but it was fine. It does not surpass the perfection of the 1947 version but they did make it their own and it was entertaining. I would recommend it.
Nov 27, 2020I have not seen the movie version. So, I can't compare the 2 versions. I really enjoyed this TV mini-series. Beautiful cinematography, well acted. It kept my interest throughout all 3 episodes.
Nov 26, 2020I don't understand why people aren't raving about this! I found it beautiful to watch, engaging story, brilliant performances. I watched the whole thing in a day (with some breaks) and was grateful for it. Highly recommended!
Nov 25, 2020I watch waiting for something to happen but it never did.
Nov 24, 2020If "Black Narcissus" is truly regarded as a series, then it should be considered unprecedented for cable television in terms of its production scope. While Charlotte Bruus Christensen's directorial debut is visually stunning and wildly ambitious, its three-hour runtime struggles to extract momentum or thematic value from Amanda Coe's sluggish screenplay and lousy characters.