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The Sandman: New Fairy Tale for Adults

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Big fan of movies and books, a little pagan, and love to write about heroes and villains

the sandman

the sandman

A dense epic and inexhaustible humanism in the adaptation of the cult comic book by Neil Gaiman.
Dreamlord Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) is mistakenly imprisoned by an occultist. After being in captivity for several decades, he is released without the artifacts he needs. The hero goes in search of stolen items and at the same time tries to regain control over people's dreams in the changing world.

According to legend, the Sandman comes to children at night, when the activity of the lacrimal glands decreases, there is a soporific itch in the eyes, and vision becomes rough. Having been a part of European folklore since at least the middle of the 18th century, the character joined the ranks of DC Comics superheroes in 1939. The hero underwent many versions until the publisher's management decided to radically change his origin by inviting the British science fiction writer Gaiman (Good Omens, American Gods) to work.

The result was the most branched, it became weighty Talmud with its own mythology, occasionally referring to other DC pantheons. Growing with an ardent fan base, The Sandman spent decades looking for a release before being brought to Netflix with the author's involvement as a producer/consultant (still a rare occurrence).

At first, it may seem to the audience familiar with the original source that the complexity, inconsistency, and intricate construction of the graphic novel turned out to be significantly reduced in the television adaptation. However, a closer look into the abyss reveals a working scheme that combines the two eternally opposing camps of literature and cinema. For ten episodes, viewers accept the conditions of the chaos of the Gaiman universe, notice its details in themselves, and go on an exciting quest in search of identity.

Morpheus longs to meet his fellow The Endless: Death, Destiny, Desire, and others who left him or forgot about him during an erroneous prison term. Each of the relatives has his own view of the people they serve - in humanity, they can see both a mission and an experiment with the slave power. Morpheus, or the Dream, is an idealist with nihilistic patterns, so his odyssey will be characterized by frustration and constant doubt in himself and those around him.

The series is deliberately filmed in a dreamy distorted frame format, designed to disorient and make you sooner or later accept the rules of a surreal odyssey. Netflix, which is regularly criticized for its blurry and mediocre content, has become the most appropriate platform for the show, carefully explaining to unprepared participants the essence of what is happening, offering Gaiman and his colleagues (David S. Goyer from The Dark Knight and Allan Heinberg from Wonder Woman) creatively limitless freedom.

From a scripting point of view, the savviest episodes are episodes with a limited number of characters, a semi-single place, and action. For example, three consecutive stories in the middle of the show - "A Hope in Hell", "24/7", and "The Sound of Her Wings" - bring Morpheus together with Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie) and his kingdom, who has assumed the functions of a god-man (David Thewlis) and Sister Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste from Cruella). Each of the storylines is executed equally effectively both in the visual and in the semantic context. Over time, Morpheus constantly undergoes internal metamorphoses and realizes the depth of his position and the degree of hope that people experience and place on dreams and their healing power, which allows them to escape for a short time from the complete chaos of everyday life.
Underrated British actor Sturridge literally steps out of the pages of a graphic novel, delivering a gritty, charismatic performance full of introspection and sudden spiritual fulfillment.

Some elements of The Sandman leave much to be scrutinized (watch the chaotic final episodes) instead of an obvious entry into a second season, which is quite justified. Separate hordes of fans will be clearly angry because of the “agenda” introduced into the series, to which they will receive an answer from Gaiman himself (the writer does not hesitate to debunk the illusions on his Twitter). The series, with external diversity, is distinguished by a stubborn belief, surprising in modern times, in working on oneself, in responsibility, and in an unclear future, the sand in the clock has long been running out. Dreams, as it turns out, lead back to reality - building it to one degree or another is within the power of everyone.

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