Lisey's Story (2021) Review

An unwatchable and unbearable shriek fest

Aparnna Hajirnis -

Lisey's Story (2021) Review
Platform
Apple TV+
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Limited Series Review
Movie Rated
18+
Genre
PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER,SUPERNATURAL
Language
English

What is the story about?

The miniseries is based on Stephen King's book by the same name. Lisey is dealing with a number of problems and with the grief of losing her novelist husband. She is trying to piece together the mystery behind his untimely demise, as well as helping her mentally-ill sister. However, she encounters a fan obsessed with her husband's work who will stop at nothing to get hold of her husband's unfinished work. Pretty soon the obsession takes an ugly turn and Lisey finds herself facing some old and new demons. 

Analysis

Fans of thrillers and horrors grew up reading Stephen King's books and have also seen the countless movie and television adaptations. Lisey's Story however, is a huge disappointment. It does have its psychedelic moments, but for most parts of it, the series is simply irritating. It isn't artistically different from other psychological horrors or thrillers nor does it manage to provoke any discomfort in the audiences. Personally, I jumped at the idea of watching a Stephen King novel adaptation. But I was completely letdown by a messy plot and really cheesy special effects. Most of the actors are reduced to repeating the same dialogues. Even the Boo'Ya Moon imagery gets boring by the time you reach episode 5. That can still be forgiven, but the central issue with this series is that, it does not do justice to the title. It is not Lisey's story at all. It is, in fact, Scott Landon's story from the start till the very end. Lisey is sidelined throughout the movie. The story focuses more on Scott's childhood than Lisey's and you find her character simply idling away time sitting by the poolside. The treatment of the protagonist is therefore, done with utmost disrespect as Lisey is simply reduced to being an extension of her husband. 

Performances

Julianne Moore is a talented actress and we can see that she is really trying to make an effort, but the script is a total letdown for her acting prowess. Clive Owen, who we see mostly in flashbacks has also done a fair job. Dane DeHaan is the surprise of the lot as he plays the 'incelish' Jim Dooley very well. The acting talents of the supporting cast Joan Allen, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Pitt are completely wasted. 

Music & Other Departments

There isn't much of music to talk about, except for the suspenseful music that plays in the background. The special effects are cheesy and not very well done. The Boo'Ya Moon imagery is nice but then it gets boring and repetitive. They have a lot of gratuitous violent scenes and some disturbing child abuse scenes which are completely unsettling and we wish there could have been more sensitivity in displaying them. Also, there's way too much shrieking onscreen and after a point you feel as if it the only constant in the film. 

Highlights

None.

Drawbacks

  • Unnecessary violence against the women characters.
  • Worn-out misogynous and incel loner tropes.
  • Way too many loopholes and gaps in the story.

Did I enjoy it?

This series should have ideally been a movie but even then it wouldn't have been bingeworthy on a day where you have nothing to watch.  For people who have read the book, this series does not give you the emotional satisfaction. The series is messy and the characters seem disjointed. This series is best avoided.

Do I recommend it?

No. 



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