The Outsider, HBO adapted the novel by Stephen King | Review


Published on Mar 17, 2020


The Climax is the key word to represent the narrative of The Ousider, the first transposition HBO based on a novel by “his majesty of the thrill of Stephen King, aired in Italy on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.

The incipit of The Outsider is very similar to that of other crime such as The Night Of watch the case of the same screenwriter (Richard Price, behind The Wire and The Deuce for the tv cable). Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman, also a director of the first two episodes), professor of English and coach of the baseball team of the school, known and loved by all in the city, is confirmed by a number of reliable witnesses with overwhelming evidence as responsible for the murder of little Frankie Peterson, eleven-year-old of the same baseball team, whose corpse was found mutilated and tortured in the woods.

In this small town in Georgia, where everybody knows each other, as expected, soon the detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline), who has recently lost his son, finds herself facing a double truth: and other irrefutable evidence placed in fact Terry in another city at the time of the crime.

From here, it takes away the fold of the supernatural miniseries (on the other hand, we speak always of Stephen King), which veers more on the thriller/supernatural horror which the crime is minimalist.

The miniseries, after the introduction of the discover how could Terry be in two places at the same time, in the style of The Night Of, and embraces most of the clash of two investigators from the methods and beliefs antithetical à la True Detective.

On the one hand the character of Ralph, firmly convinced of what they can touch, feel and especially try, given the job of the police that carried out; on the other, the private investigator Holly Gibney (the Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo – Harriet, Widows – Legacy criminal), known for his unconventional methods, to which Anderson is a contact to try to untangle the complicated skein.

Holly, a kind of prodigy child that explores the world around her in a different way, perhaps because of its nature, is more sensitive to the idea of the supernatural, understood as that which we cannot explain rationally.

Science and faith once again collide in the seriality of the author, even if here we are dealing with a dimension that oscillla, most between what we can explain rationally, and what stops the nebulous, and that must be accepted and internalized. But without straying too far from the beliefs of religion that peep out to the ultimate Evil and the most pure, the so-called “Black Man” of the folk tradition.

Trivia: the character of the Gibney is also present in the tv series of Audience for Mr. Mercedes, available in Italy on StarzPlay, interpreted in this case by Justine Lupe.

The Outsider is perfectly built on three acts: in the first episodes there is, in fact, the denial and dismay rational on the part of all; in the second part, as the investigations of Holly is continuing, there is a greater awareness that the truth may lie in what we can't explain; in the third and last of our “heroes” do is deal with the Evil, once identified and internalized.

An Evil that feeds on pain, which we know to be part of life itself, and that all actors should bring to mind, to be able to confront this unknown enemy and for this reason even more dangerous.

Due to the fact that it is a miniseries with a story that starts and ends, The Outsider takes all the time (and the ten episodes are not few) to destabilize the viewer in the first few episodes, make him feel fear almost ancestral, toward the Evil, with a capital M, and then start to give him the tools to compose the puzzles in the later ones.

A slow pace accompanied by a photograph which shows the appearance in the horror/thriller of the story. A climax of the narrative, in fact, that leads to fulfillment for the viewer who sees admit the inadmissible in front of their eyes: the solution may be not in what we do, but in what we believe. I want to believe.

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