A Tale of Self-Indulgent Children - The Curse

A Tale of Self-Indulgent Children - The Curse
The Curse, Showtime-A24

“The Curse” unfolds as a captivating TV series, presenting a narrative that is strikingly banal and linear, much like life itself. In this series, the expected climactic moments often lead to anti-climaxes, a true reflection of the everyday experiences we encounter. What sets “The Curse” apart is its embrace of life’s dullness, where significant action unfolds not through sensational scenes but through the mundane dialogues of characters like Asher and Whitney. Their conversations, marked by Asher’s ennui and Whitney’s feigned enthusiasm, become the focal point of the series’ action.

Nathan’s approach in creating discomfort is noteworthy. He skillfully depicts how individuals often distance themselves from honesty and authentic emotions. The characters in “The Curse” navigate a world filled with social cues and lies, portraying a common human tendency to mask true feelings. This societal dance of deflection and deceit is a recurring theme in the series, especially in its exploration of the fear of rejection and the reciprocal lies we tell to avoid confrontation. Nathan’s work adeptly captures these nuanced human behaviours in the complex relationships showcased in the series.

The interactions between Nala and Asher are particularly significant. Their shared moments of focus and attention suggest the possibility of something momentous, yet it consistently remains unfulfilled, symbolizing their shared longing for excitement amidst their monotonous lives. Nala, as a bullied child, seeks a magical escape, while Asher feels isolated and ridiculed in both his personal and professional life, clinging to the hope of change, even if it’s symbolized by something as trivial as a chicken disappearing.

“The Curse” also probes deeper into the artificiality and pretence of its characters. The small town becomes a stage for them to indulge in self-aggrandizement, masquerading as philanthropists. This criticism also extends to the artist, Cara, who despite her mockery of the affluent elite like Whitney, ultimately falls prey to the same materialistic temptations, sacrificing her morals, her culture for financial gain.

Whitney, along with Asher, is essentially playing house with their toys. They are pretending to be community builders and revel in playing the role of savior. To them, the inhabitants of Española are not real individuals; they are merely action figures. Driven by her desire to differentiate herself from her family, Whitney turns to her toys, likely the same ones she played with as a child to escape her parents' reality. She may have aspired to emulate the figures she observed on TV, possibly even on reality TV shows. Now, as an adult, she appropriates the people of this community to fulfill her own needs.

With its blend of mundane realism, and beautiful cinematography captures the essence of real people and the real world. I highly recommend “The Curse”.