Renegade Nell review: A fantastic Louisa Harland makes for a wild action adventure ride

Derry Girls star Louisa Harland is a riot as the unhinged Nell Jackson in the new Disney plus show Renegade Nell, created by Sally Wainwright. Set in the 18th century, she is long presumed dead by her father (Craig Parkinson) and younger sisters (Florence Keen and Bo Bragason). So when she returns home in men’s clothing, its a sight to behold for the entire village. What she, and the rest of them, still do not know is that she also possesses supernatural powers, which enable her to twist the arm of a bully in one second, and catch a bullet like a ping pong ball for play. She’s unhinged, chaotic and is unique, and Renegade Nell follows her fantastical, impulsive journey over the course of eight long episodes with strength and wonder. (Also read: Road House movie review: Jake Gyllenhaal pulls all the punches in this surprisingly fun remake)
Louisa Harland in a still from Renegade Nell.

The premise

Soon, she will know that this extraordinary power is granted to her by an external force – that small flying ball of light that zips into her mouth every time she finds herself in danger. It is a tiny magical spirit called Billy Blind (played by Nick Mohammed). He’s on her side, he assures her. But why, and what’s his story, she enquires.

Hindustan Times – your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

The answer to that question is overruled (and will have to wait) as Nell has far more immediate threats in the form of the landowner’s son Thomas Blancheford (Jake Dunn). Blancheford has been giving a tough job to her family ever since she was presumed dead. A quick, tight punch on his head seems to have shown him the door. But at what cost? The Nell sisters will have to pay the tough price for this, as Nell will be framed for murder and she will have to flee her home ultimately.

With so much story to tell, and with multiple characters in a story that balances situational comedy with grave themes of identity, gender issues among other things, Renegade Nell could have fallen sideways pretty soon. But the case here is fortunately not so, as the many beats come together quite well, with the direction shared by Amanda Brotchie, M.J. Delaney and Ben Taylor rising up to the occasion when the writing begins to feel a little caught up at places.

It is certainly one of the major issues of Renegade Nell, particularly in the episodes midway, when the emotional wavelength of a character does not quite match the way the curated narrative stakes at hand. The persistent tone of the writing threatens to hamper the spirit of its lead protagonist. For Nell’s unwavering determination for justice and power are the driving forces that save the ship at the end of the day.

Final thoughts

Apart from Harland’s wonderful, committed performance, Renegade Nell also secures a lot of strength from a superb technical crew. The attention to worldbuilding keeps the flow of the series, as the narrative jumps from one place to another to match the restlessness of its heroine. Tom Pye’s period costume design adds up incredibly, whereas production designer Anna Pritchard’s spellbinding work reflects on the streets and locations with an acute eye for detail. It all comes together through the brilliant camerawork of Oli Russell and Catherine Goldschmidt.

Renegade Nell is a show of many delights; a show to savour and get lost into. It works not only because of its committed adherence to blending the realistic with the fantastical, but also as a determined look at autonomy, which holds true even for so many of us in this generation.

Entertainment! Entertainment! Entertainment! 🎞️🍿💃 Click to follow our Whatsapp Channel 📲 Your daily dose of gossip, films, shows, celebrities updates all in one place

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: