What is the story about?
Based on The New York Times best-selling book by author Liane Moriarty, Nine Perfect Strangers is based on a corporate lawyer turned spiritual guru, Masha who runs health-and-wellness resort called Tranquilum that promises healing and transformation to its guests with their unconventional methods. 9 strangers who are bogged down with emotional and physical traumas of their past enter the 'Tranquilum' wanting to get a break from their real life. However, they have no idea that a week's stay at Tranquilum is going to cost them a lot more than they had bargained for.
You could possible wonder what is to go wrong with a series that stars Hollywood Oscar alumni such as Mellisa Mccarthy, Regina Hall and Nicole Kidman? The answer?. A hollow and self- absorbed series that is perhaps based on a story that is as old as Adam. In the first episode you are introduced to 9 strangers, who clearly have a lot going on in their personal and hence an expensive retreat based in California will cure them in just a week's time. We are introduced to Masha played by Nicole Kidman who runs Tranquilum with an iron-fist and uses the most unconventional methods to cure her guests from their maladies. Including those who are dealing with death of their loved ones. Bizarre, if you ask me. The first three episodes make you feel as if there is an ominous secret that Masha is carrying and that perhaps there could be more depth to this series. However, as you reach the climax you realise what a hollow and self-absorbed the show was and that how it was a perfect waste of your time. The show wants us to believe that the nine guests are people with relatable problems, but clearly they all suffer from the phenomenon called as 'rich white people', though not all of them are white. Their problems and Masha's methods just make you feel that is just another justification of a cult that thrives on rich people's donations and funds. By the end of it you realise that none of the powerhouse performers can save this show from such superficiality.
Nicole Kidman looks breath-taking as an Osho-styled self proclaimed wellness guru 'Masha'. She does a good job in playing a sinister character. Melissa Mccarthy as the troubled writer, Francis is both charming and endearing. It was also fun to see Asher Keddie after her long-running stint on Offspring. Regina Hall also has done a fair job in playing a woman battling self-image issues. The male cast are all decent in their parts, but somehow their roles haven't been written in ways that does justice to their acting prowesses.
Music & Other Departments
The series has a sombre and ominous background score playing throughout its run. The series has been shot in a beautiful location in Australia, even though the show is said to be based in California. The retreat shots look beautiful as do the shots with the river and the waterfall. Apart from that the writing and the characters are very superficial.
Watch it if you are a fan of Nicole Kidman's beauty. There is nothing to look in this show apart from Nicole's celestial beauty.
The story has several loopholes. For eg - How did those adults agree to attend a self-help retreat program without knowing their methods of treatment? How did they agree to give away their cellphones even though they were not informed about it previously? How did the makers think it is perfectly fine to justify use of psychedelic drugs to be given to people as cures?
Did I enjoy it?
No. For all the build up the series had in the first few episodes, the ending just fizzled out.
Do I recommend it?