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1899 Review: This Mind-Bending Mystery Thriller Is Crafty But Fails To Keep You Hooked

1899 Review: As Dark left the audience scratching their heads because of its puzzling questions, the audience has the same expectations from 1899.

1899 Review: This Mind-Bending Mystery Thriller Is Crafty But Fails To Keep You Hooked

'1899' is the new addition to Netflix's science fiction web series and is created by the makers of its biggest international hit 'Dark'. As Dark left the audience scratching their heads because of its puzzling questions, the audience has the same expectations from 1899.

The cast: Emily Beecham, Aneurin Barnard, Andreas Pietschmann, Miguel Bernardeau, José Pimentão, Gabby Wong, Isabella Wei, Yann Gael, Mathilde Olliver, Jonas Bloquet, Rosalie Craig, Anton Lesser.

Plot: When mysterious events change the course of an immigrant ship headed for New York in 1899, a mind-bending riddle unfolds for its bewildered passengers.

Slow and Confusing Episodes 1 to 4:

1899 starts with Maura Singleton, a neurologist, who wakes up from a nightmare and finds herself on the ship called 'Kerberos'. Set in the year 1899, we meet passengers from different countries and different classes travelling to New York City. As the passengers come across a lost ship 'Prometheus', mysterious things start happening to them.

The first four episodes will test your patients as you try to understand the plot. The characters ask the same question as the viewers 'What are you hiding' or 'What is happening?' as we go on this mind-boggling journey with them. Slowly we find that all the people on the ship have some ulterior motive other than going to the US to start a new life. The first half of 1899 is slow and leaves the audience with more questions and confusion rather than answering them.

The Gripping Episodes 5 to 8:

The show starts picking up in its second half as the mystery behind the Prometheus starts unfolding. Episodes 5 to 8 are far more engaging and will keep you hooked on your seats than their first half. However, all the questions about the mysterious things happening with the passengers are not answered until the last episode. The makers have left episode 8 on a very confusing note which leaves an opportunity for a possible second season.

The Performances and casting:

1899 has one of the best castings you will ever see. We meet passengers who are from different countries and speak completely different languages. Each character speaks in their native language without any forced accent, which we often see in several franchises. Every actor has their own moment to shine in the series and has their own character arc. However, Emily Beecham as Maura Singleton and Andreas Pietschmann as Eyk Larsen carry the show on their shoulder with the most screen timing. Isabella Wei as Ling Yi and Clara Rosager as Tove leave a lasting impression with their stellar performances.

Music:

The music of 1899 is one of its weak points and does not add much depth to the scenes or the plot. The show opens with 'White Rabbit' and you can't help but compare the soundtrack with 'Dark'.

The visuals:

The cinematography and the visuals in 1899 are a treat to watch and are absolutely stunning. From the set design of the ship to the ocean to the different landscapes, 1899 has flawless production designs. There are many tiny details in the production designs you might miss while watching for the first time, but it adds depth to the story.

Final Thoughts:

If you are going forward to watch 1899 with the same expectations as Dark, then you might feel disappointed. Even though the show has some flaws and might lose its grip on the plot sometimes, 1899 is an engaging watch. The plot twists in the show save it from becoming a boring watch.

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