Emmy Spotlight: HBO's 'Chernobyl' Review
Tuesday, August 13, 2019 17:21 IST
By Shaurya Thakur , Santa Banta News Network
"What is the cost of lies? It's not that we'll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies then we no longer recognize the truth at all."

Cast: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jessie Buckley, Con O'Neill, David Dencik, Ralph Ineson, Barry Keoghan, Paul Ritter.

Creator: Craig Mazin

Rating: ****

'Chernobyl' begins with a harrowing echo of `What is the cost of the lies?` over the tape recorder, a cold afterthought in hindsight which sets in motion a reluctant reconstruction of truth. HBO's latest mini-series offering,'Chernobyl' is a 5 part reenactment of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of 1986; a gargantuan, once-in-a-decade an accident with a legacy that haunts both the present living and dead.

We follow the inception of this tragedy- from its bureaucratic blow-outs, widespread panic to its grim aftermath and eventually loss of hope. What we've come to know as massive industrial misfortune is made deeply personal by creator Craig Mazin in his decision to run parallel storylines of people who bore the brunt. However, where Chernobyl truly achieves excellence is in what it has to say of how our foundational institutes; our supposed guardian and defender of faith can overrun protocol and show its arbitrary tendency. This faith crumbles due to the corruption of body and soul as everyone turns to a state of blinding denial instead of owning up to errors.

There's constant covering up, with officials in charge silencing the voice of reason in the guise of `state interests`. The practice of governments storing secrets, blacklisting media which presents before the people a clear representation of facts and figures without leaving any loose ends resonates even today. Amidst the finger-pointing, the series presents a respectful tribute to the faint gleam of heroism. These voices never simmer down, constantly defying the administrative rabbit hole. They tell things how they are, no matter how unpleasant they are deemed to be. Courage is not a currency paranoia accepts, but the truth is too powerful a force to be stopped despite the doomed outcome.

Props to the production design, which is a clear standout for creating visceral and hauntingly beautiful set pieces. The show has made a splash at the award circuit, garnering 19 Emmy nominations including Limited Series, Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Jared Harris), Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or movie (Emily Watson), Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a movie (Stellan Skarsgård,) along with directing, writing and other technical categories.

Awards or not, this series 'Chernobyl' is the most authentic and profound portrayal of terror and is destined to be one of the greatest miniseries to grace our television screens.
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