Socialist Worker

La Revolution is a confusing “re-imagining” of the French Revolution

by Gabby Thorpe
Issue No. 2728

La Revolution promises more than it manages to deliver

La Revolution promises more than it manages to deliver

From the beginning La Revolution seems to touch on the upheaval that led to one of the most famous uprisings in history. But it’s trying too hard to be too many things.

La Revolution is a historical drama, horror, fantasy and mystery all at once. The series follows Joseph—a young doctor-turned-detective—who investigates murders.

This leads him to the discovery of a “blue blood” virus, causing erratic behaviour among France’s aristocracy.

The most confusing element is the introduction of Madeleine, the narrator. While the opening scenes suggest that La Revolution is her story, she barely features in the main plot.

Instead, we are told the story of a doctor who must try and find justice for a slave accused of murder.

At the same time, we are told the story of Elise, a countess who is haunted by her conscience.

At times the plot seems to skip a few steps—leaving questions about how major relationships are developed. And the first episode introduces so many characters that it’s hard to keep up.

The premise is interesting—“a re-imagining” of the French Revolution. But in doing so, little of what the revolution was actually about remains. Instead this series focuses more on magical realism and gratuitous sexual violence to tell a story.

The acting and cinematography is impressive. There is enough intrigue to keep the viewer hooked.

La Revolution is entertaining enough. But it is difficult to see how all of the elements can come together coherently.

If you are looking for a semi-decent fantasy to keep you entertained through another lockdown, then give La Revolution a go. But if you want something more serious, look elsewhere.

Available now on Netflix

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Tue 27 Oct 2020, 14:28 GMT
Issue No. 2728
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