Thursday, November 26, 2015
A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE is not a show that one can binge watch despite all the episodes being available at the same time. It is far too balanced in pacing, far too detailed,far too plot driven. It rewards a slow taking in not ripping through it like a long movie.
As I was watching, I was trying to recall the book by Phillip K Dick which I read many years ago. The key point in divergence between our reality and CASTLE'S reality wherein the Germans and the Japanese won World War II and subsequently split the USA with the Germans controlling the East and the Japanese the West with a neutral zone in between wasn't so much a German development of the nuclear bomb but the assassination of FDR in 1933 (which failed in our reality) and replacement by an isolationist that failed to get out of the depression and got into the war much too late.
I found the overall story interesting because it isn't just alternative history but about alternate realities as well as the season finale showed - Reminds me very much of the show FRINGE in that regard.
Some other moments - 1.) In episode seven the look of contempt the butler gives the groveling antiquities dealer in the wealthy Japanese customer's home 2.) The VE Day celebrations with Nazified swastika American flags 3.) The scene in the first episode where it is revealed why the air is heavy with soot.
The actors are almost superfluous. They are all good in their roles but the overall look of the show is the real star - Meticulous and detailed in its use of Nazi and Imperial Japan Iconography transplanted to a conquered America.
My only complaint is the dark look of the cinematography - makes for eye strain. Even when this is shot outdoors, still feels like it's at night. A little lighting wouldn't hurt anybody!
And also props to Hiro Kinagawa who plays a Yakuza boss in a couple episodes. He has also recently had repeating roles in HEROES REBORN and IZOMBIE. Guess Hollywood is short of older male Japanese actors.