Cast: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, Nico Parker, Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett & ensemble.
Creator: Craig Mazin & Neil Druckmann.
Director: Craig Mazin.
Streaming On: Disney+ Hotstar (in India).
Language: English (with subtitles).
Runtime: 5 Episodes Over 60 Minutes Each.
The Last Of Us Mid-Season Review: What’s It About:
Joel after losing everything he ever had has found a new motivation in his life and that is to make Ellie reach the lab safely. The two go through several landscapes and finally find themselves trapped in the free lands where a challenge awaits.
The Last Of Us Mid-Season Review: What Works:
Neil Druckmann’s game Last Of Us for most of its players was more about killing the varied infected demons and finding their way out to the point where they can mark themselves safe. Yes, there were several smaller characters always somewhere in the background or supporting the main players but we never really bothered about decoding their presence. With Craig Mazin now joining him to create a feature show, he does just that.
So, The Last Of Us that now is 5 episodes stronger on HBO and disney+ Hotstar is two filmmakers of unique sensibilities coming together to create a product that is not just sticking to one genre but venturing into many more redefining the grammar they both hold. The episodes that follow the first take us on a tour of lands that are surrounding the infected part that Joel has already fought and lost everything he had. The man is a rogue now and has nothing left to lose until he bonds with a teenage girl by circumstances.
The writing and the direction of the next four episodes showcase the best progression a television could have had in the recent past. Unlike what he thought how the show will follow Joel on his journey out of this deadly situation, Mazin with Druckmann chooses to venture out into multiple storylines. Amid the chaos of a horrific outbreak and dead looming in every corner, the makers try to find empathy, love, the meaning of family, and at the top of it all the gest to survive.
There is a man who has metaphorically and literally guarded himself in his property to save himself from the dead and also the ones who have survived. He lets another man in and falls in love. Together they build a castle and let their love bloom forgetting the world that exists beyond their boundaries. There is love and the battle to save it here. Extremely unconventional but supremely aching and the fact that it blends so well into Joel’s story only makes it super impactful.
Another story has a father who has fought the highest power in the Freeland to save his son from a life-threatening situation but now the system is coming against him. It’s the most hurting story and you must witness. The way the makers blend these parallel stories into the main plot is reminiscent of the TV show This Is Us. Think of how it tied parallel plot in one knot but this time on a much darker story. It is a very difficult task and the makers of The Last Of Us do it so well.
The fact that the cinematography is top-notch, the idea of visualizing these demons, and the emotional quotient is high is already given.
The Last Of Us Mid-Season Review: Star Performance:
The acting performances are so well and the casting is much on point. Pedro Pascal continues to be a highlight and so does Bella Ramsey. Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett make the third episode an aching treat. There is so much tenderness in the way they fall in love but the dystopia that surrounds them doesn’t let it stay much.
Lamar Johnson as Henry brings out the best in his limited part and makes us root for him as his trajectory goes from good to worse pretty quickly.
The Last Of Us Mid-Season Review: What Doesn’t Work:
Apart from the fact that we are yet to know a lot about Ellie and there is too much packed for the rest of the episodes bothers a bit but nothing in this show goes to the extent where it stops working.
The Last Of Us Mid-Season Review: Last Words:
The Last Of Us is an example of how to make a show from a popular source but also add a lot of uniqueness to it. You cannot miss this one.
For more recommendations, read our House Of The Dragon Season 1 Review here.
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