The Luminaries Review: Star Cast: Eve Hewson, Eva Green, Himesh Patel, Marton Csokas, Ewen Leslie
Director: Claire McCarthy
Genre: Mystery, Drama
Streaming On: Netflix
The Luminaries Review: What’s The Story? And How’s The Screenplay?
Based on Eleanor Catton’s best selling and critically acclaimed novel of the same name, The Luminaries is a murder mystery which also touches interesting concepts like astral twins.
The story is set in the New Zealand of the 1860s. Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson) & Emery Staines (Himesh Patel) meet each other as they travel to New Zealand for making their fortune by working in the goldfields. Their first conversation is nothing short of magic and before they go their own ways, they promise to meet each other again. Emery gives Anna the address of the hotel he is staying in written on a piece of paper. However, an illiterate Anna is misled by Lydia Wells (Eva Green) who wants the former to work with her.
Lydia who is an astrologer manages to keep Anna and Emery apart from each other while taking her under her wings. As Anna enters the world of Lydia, she learns that the latter is cheating her husband Crosbie Wells (Ewen Leslie) with Francis Carver (Marton Csokas). One thing leads to another and the story becomes a murder mystery in which Anna is the top suspect.
Eleanor Catton’s novel The Luminaries was published in 2013 and received immense appreciation. Despite being an 850-page approx novel, it managed to grip the audience and received huge acclaim. However, the 6 episode show adaptation of the novel doesn’t work at all and one of the biggest reason is its extremely slow speed.
The screenplay is a total drag and wastes so much time of the audience before coming to the point. It could’ve easily avoided a lot of unnecessary scenes thus keeping the overall duration at least 60-90 minutes less.
The Luminaries boasts of a really interesting story especially the astral twins concept which it talks about. Given a good screenplay, the impact of the story could’ve been way better. However, this one is a great opportunity missed. Leave apart the finale, the whole show is quite boring.
The Luminaries Review: How Are The Performances & Direction?
Himesh Patel is top-notch as Emery Staines. He is indeed a beautiful actor who has very expressive eyes. Eva Green is very good as Lydia Wells and Eve Hewson is good. Eve looks so charismatic on-screen, especially in the first episode. The camera angles do full justice to her beauty and it won’t be wrong to say that she totally drives the initial part of the show with her charm.
Other actors have also done well.
Claire McCarthy’s direction lags a lot as he fails to do justice to such an amazing story. The blame also goes to the screenplay writer.
However, the cinematography of The Luminaries is excellent. As mentioned above, the camera work is too good and it captures the beauty of New Zealand really well.
The Luminaries Review: Final Verdict
Overall, The Luminaries is not a must-watch. If you really want to give a shot to the story, read the novel instead.
Rating: Two & Half Stars