Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, and ensemble.
Creator: Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer).
Director: Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, and Nimród Antal.
Streaming On: Netflix
Language: English (with subtitles).
Runtime: 7 Episode Around 1 hr 25 Minutes Each.
Stranger Things Season 4 Vol 1 Review: What’s It About:
So season 3 was Jim Hopper (David) sacrificing himself to save the world and close the gate to upside down. El aka Eleven aka Jane lost her super powers and had to live under the burden of regrets and ultimate grief of losing her father, powers and the Hawkins as she moves to California with Joyce, Jonathan and Will. 6 months later after the incidents of the last season, turns out, the Upside down is still active and that there is a new monster who is now controlling it. How will the gang realise and kill him is season 4. Well, Hopper is alive! Boom, not a spoiler!
Stranger Things Season 4 Vol 1 Review: What Works:
With Stranger Things, the Duffer Brothers over the past couple of years has cracked the formulae of entertaining children, adults, and child-adults (like me) in one room. There are visual jump scares for the kids and a gripping story for the adults. That fact that the gang of Hawkins has aged with the show and that we have too with them, makes it even more three dimensional. So when two versions of El, one around 10-year-old and other present day stand face to face, you can feel how much time you have spent with this amazing show. The creators manage to add a whole lot of brilliant newness to the nostalgia and the old storyline without making it look overstuffed. Each episode it around 90 minutes and you wouldn’t even realise it.
The best part is that Duffer Brothers respect you investment and don’t make season 4 another ‘new day new task’ season. Rather they make it an emotional saga of all the emotionally burdened people fighting the evils that are around them and this time everyone has a specific conflict and not just defeating the dwellers of the upside down. So technically everyone in season 4 is living in grief. Be it the grief of losing a father and powers (El) or losing a brother who turned good just minutes before dying (Max and Billy) or the anger of watching your lover blast with the villain but couldn’t save. So it is that grief, love, anger and longing (for some) that is fuelling things for everyone.
Everyone has grown up and they are navigating their lives. The biggest question that stood tall in front of season 4 was how will they shape a season where El has forgotten her superpowers? What will she do? Trust Duffer Brothers probably inspired by Steven Spielberg, as they create a human out of her. She is misfit outside the gang and when she goes to a School without them she is considered weak and bullied. There is abundant horror in season 4, but it’s doesn’t necessarily come from the dark hallows of upside down or the ugly Vecna, but from the situations. A girl once capable to move a mountain, is now getting bullied, a piece of the evil is inside Max, Nancy is busy shuffling her heart between Jonathan and Steve. Combined with the real visual horror, there is a lot.
The fact that there are no powers with El, gives everyone else a chance to shine. Because they all are humans now and the approach is kind of similar. The writing gets matured as the characters do and it is a win.
The technical department keeps gets bigger and better as they now create a speaking monster and it is even more powerful, while no one in the human race possesses any power. The writing is gripping and direction even more intriguing. The old world charm of 80s is still alive and beautiful.
Stranger Things Season 4 Vol 1 Review: Star Performance:
The winner this season has to be Sadie Sink who plays Max. Of course everyone returns to do their best and some add on to add some more, Max portrays the emotions of the girl on the verge of dying with so much conviction. While she is broken inside, she doesn’t let her bada** vibe die. Take home the trophy girl!
So does Millie Bobby Brown who also has a lot on a plate. She had to entirely redesign her El in her head for sure. Because she no longer solves her problems by stretching her hand, shouting and shedding a drop of blood from her nose. Now her reflexes are human and she has to learn the hard way. The actor aces the part.
Gaten and Joe’s chemistry wins heart, and so does Maya as she casually drops some of the most hilarious lines from the show. There is Priah Ferguson and her intimidating attitude, and I am a fan. I refuse to believe that she isn’t possessed by a prolific actor at least triple her age.
Stranger Things Season 4 Vol 1 Review: What Doesn’t Work:
I understand there is too much to deal with this season and the canvas is double to what we have seen so far, but maybe exploring Mike’s s*xuality would have added another amazing layer.
The new joiners are yet to bloom fully and its been almost 11 hours (7 episodes). They did deserve more in Vol 1 and that does bother.
Stranger Things Season 4 Vol 1 Review: Last Words:
This is the most gripping season even when it is the longest, this is a victory. This is a specimen that no matter how long a product is, it is the quality that decides the attention span of the audience. There is no reason why you much not watch the new season ASAP!
Yet to watch Jeremy Renner’s Disney+ show? Read our Hawkeye Review here.