Anatomy of a scene: House of Cards | Review Home Video


Published on Sep 23, 2019


It doesn't happen often, but when a tv series is of great quality, as in the case of House of Cards, can be summed up in a scene. It will seem impossible, but we are ready to prove it.

The opening sequence which opens the serial which led the then-newborn streaming service Netflix in the Olympus of tv around the world (in Italy, it is aired on Sky Atlantic), is raw, synthetic, expresses not only the tone of the series, but also the characterization of the characters, especially the protagonist, Kevin Spacey, and he has had to do without last season because of the controversy of harassment, in order to give a conclusion to the story told.

In this sequence, as you can see from the video, Frank Underwood (Spacey) comes out on the driveway to the house – immediately understand that this character is wealthy or for the less affluent – because they have invested in the dog of the neighbors. The poor beast is not shown but it is his point of view through which we see Frank with a shot from the bottom, to see the position of the human, political and not, and his supremacy is declared. The dog is reportedly dying because of the pirate of the road, and the main character, lucid, and unemotional, speaks of “two types of pain, one that should allow you to grow and a useless, only pain”. And in virtue of this second, while it is bent over the dying dog and no one can see it, and while the neighbors began to rush from the houses behind, gives the coup de grace with his hands on the animal to put an end to his sufferings.

An act of compassion? Hard to say, given that we are not shown the actual condition of the animal, but we hear only the barking whining. This is to say that, in a delicate situation, Frank did not lose heart and will get dirty directly with the hands, without doing so do to a power of attorney to someone else. In this case, for example, the look of the body that we see first in the shot with him. Frank is THE character immediately presented, which then enters from his wife Claire (Robin Wright) to prepare for an important evening, and this tells us how to take into account the spouse – a crucial element that will return later in the series – because even though in the dialogue they speak as equals, he has done his “dirty” chores without putting in the current and going from you (the direction the “reveals” to the viewer) only in a second moment. And from there it all began, with Frank for the first time breaks the fourth wall and directly addressing the (his) public.

In contrast, in the sixth and final season of the series, Claire is the protagonist of a sequence is very similar, mirror-like and parallel at the same time. It happens in the premiere, and not in the final episode, as I expected, and it is the scene where Claire says goodbye to his Francis, the scene of the “passing of the baton” from the protagonist of the series, once fired Spacey. That of course is not seen on the screen, or better, could be metaphorically present as a bird trapped in the wall, that she kept hearing in the ear and could not tell if it was his imagination or it was real. Again an animal, this time a small helpless animal, that we see, and that is “freed” instead of deleted. As if to lead us to believe that Claire is different from Frank, even if it is clear that it must become like him in order to survive in the murky world of politics. “We're murderers, Francis,” he had said a few seasons before, during a discussion, and in that declaration was enclosed their very nature are not only legal but also moral. The sequence also allows Claire to break the fourth wall with the audience by talking about pain, and by declaring that for her there is only one. “The pain is only pain.”

Both seasons are rivivibili together with the other four in the box set complete, published by Universal Home Entertainment Italy. A casket is simple, with cardboard outside and inside a huge plastic box to contain all of the 23 disks that make up the series. The extras, present only in some seasons as in the cases previously released, ranging from behind-the-scenes of the creation of House of Cards, interesting easter egg, some available only in the blu-ray edition that we present to you.

The shades of black and grey used for the packaging give the box that austerity that you would expect from the series, a must buy for the fans – at least for the time being and until the rights will be held in Italy from Sky – they want to watch their series of the heart when they decide them.

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