Meanwhile the whole cradle of movie in Los Angeles froze in 2020 deep in the valley a young(ish) upcoming director Sam Levinson who hooked on The Euphoria Season One something special, something so Covid-like inspired by deep conversations, loneliness searching mindset and self – awareness that ease our burden till the season two is in the making.
Literally we enjoy two spin offs with the two lead characters or heroines who had painful conscious moments with strangers basically helpers or physiatrists or just fancy dolls who watch these two unstintingly talented actors trying to escape from their misery.
The A-list gem Zendaya who won the Emmy as the youngest person in history for depicting Rue the wild mustang who is a drug addict and as it always happens relapsing. Marcell Rév the DOP of the episode calls her Z, pictures her a very distant classic icon from the glorious days of the industry never a tiny bit allure never insecure and she leads a quite minimalistic life compared to the enormous fuss around her. When the location was set in the suburbs in a pathetic diner hundreds of shouting fans appeared on the corner screaming and made Instagram stories about papa razzing Z like in 1962 in the movie “Dolce Vita”.
According to her she never used drugs and Levinson had to describe the feeling or the physical appearance of taking various substances.
From this little gossip we just realize that what a strict and conscious acting method this ethereal beautiful girl owns. In this episode she is not beautiful.
She is weary, disillusioned from love, life and everything in between. She spends her Christmas Eve with her NA mentor so that hopeless she is. But when she opens up and glues together the pieces of her fails and faults and together they are able to see the big picture the whys and motives somehow the unsuspicious viewer relieves the pain too.
The dialogs seem pitch perfect real, and although we are sitting by a diner table and the only event is that embarrassing phone call which was made with the divorced mentor’s (who is played by the fab Colman Domingo who hasn’t got the well deserved role in Hollywood) daughters to wish Merry Christmas we don’t miss anything. This atmosphere was differently engaging than the others. It’s slowness and minimalism refers to a shifted mindset related to addiction and it fits to the inner peace seeking society which we lived in 2020.
The transgender Jules played by the newbie model and transgender actor Hunter Schafer is rumored not even being casted for the role. Apparently, Levinson saw her face and figured the case was closed. This extreme bravery summarized the generosity of the director. He searched for the young and innocent self and he had the receptors to receive a fashion model (as she modeled prestigious fashion brands before, like Dior) could depict the young and innocent Sam Levinson.
When the audience started murmuring that 2020 was the year of PC and we should take care of each other because every LGBTQ life matters I have to disappoint all of you. Nobody could act better in this episode than Hunter. First she pointed out the fact with her appearance that glitter never matters if there is somebody shinier beneath that.
“There need to be more roles where trans people aren’t just dealing with being trans; they’re being trans while dealing with other issues,” Schafer said in an interview with Variety. “We’re so much more complex than just one identity.”
“The fact that we begin to see her move into some form of queerness as an alternative to straightness was another thing I was excited for as a queer trans person,” she told Them. in July 2019. “I didn’t feel that I had really seen that before on TV.”
In early 2019, the actress also told Dazed that “I’m closer to what you might call a lesbian.”
The scene also claustrophobic due to the Covid standards and Marcell Rév’s lens is almost every minute in the episode focuses on her face. She shows so overwhelming emotions and doubts that a teenager feels when her love relapses into drug addiction like her mother did, on top with the fact that she felt shallow and one dimensional as a girl and even her/his?
The helper is not so recognizable and emphasized like in the first episode basically she’s just asking regular dry questions. In this episode the flashbacks and memories about her fantasy lover are way too stressed than in the first one and we can recognize for a couple of seconds the good ‘old’ first season’s over-pulled, over colored snits and that is why we love the effort of the Hungarian cinematographer’s vision.
The different aspect from the first season and a more simplified audio-visual world makes us guess that without the glittery sarcastic tremendous teenage new wave the creators of this very witty series finally found the diamonds which are never born in shallow mines.
Definitely the peak was the first season and almost unaccomplishable to regain that level and to tell the truth we have to make a verdict about two feature films so I must take the average: For Rue I would give a 5 for Jules I would go with 7 so this “Euphoria Special” for me is a strong 6/10.
Linda Dia Szabó