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Home TV Shows Reviews ‘Notre-Dame’ Netflix Series Review - This Flat Series Goes Up In Flames

‘Notre-Dame’ Netflix Series Review - This Flat Series Goes Up In Flames

Inspired by true accounts from French firefighters, the series explores the impact of the 2019 fire of Notre-Dame on a diverse group of Parisians

Vikas Yadav - Wed, 19 Oct 2022 20:38:09 +0100 6930 Views
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Notre-Dame opens with the sound of David Bowie's Heroes. As for the visual, we see Alice (Megan Northam) jogging on the road. She is a firefighter, which means the song is used to label firefighters as heroes. Heroes also work as a foreshadowing device because Alice will do a heroic deed late into Notre-Dame. To paraphrase a line from the song itself, Alice will become a hero for one day. Her presence proves to be crucial in extinguishing the fire at Notre-Dame.

Max (Simon Abkarian), a shopkeeper, asks Alice what she was doing at the moment when Michael Jackson died. He considers MJ's death as an event that froze time. This is nothing but the series' way of putting the Notre-Dame fire on the same level as MJ's demise. His question, too, sets up the series' narrative. We won't just watch Notre-Dame burning to ashes. But we will also see what multiple characters would do during this particular disaster.

To sum it up as briefly as possible, a boy will look for his father, and a father will look for his daughter (the firefighters, meanwhile, will look for a way to stop the fire). Max's wife is sick and dying; Notre-Dame is burning and collapsing. Alice is grieving as someone close to her has died. The public is mourning because Notre-Dame is falling. An artist/doctor reconstructs the face of her dead wife. The Notre-Dame, too, underwent reconstruction after the fire.

I have arranged and connected the events in such a way that it might look as if Notre-Dame is interesting and well-made. I wish I could nod in affirmation. The problem with Notre-Dame is that it bites more than it can chew on. It hangs multiple storylines and then jumps between them. This continuous movement from one thread to another removes any sense of tension from everywhere. If the aim was to show how stressful it was to save Notre-Dame, then the show spectacularly failed. We know it was not an easy task to complete, but too many storylines fill Notre-Dame with flab. That's why, instead of biting your nails in apprehension, you sit back and relax. One can say that too many ingredients spoiled this dish.

The series comes across as pointless. I have not read the book it's based on, but while watching Notre-Dame, I found it had little to no substance. A half an hour or one-hour documentary would have told us all about the incident. In the form of this story with multiple characters, Notre-Dame fails to commit to any one side. A historical site gets damaged by fire, yet there is no urgency in this situation. The characters remain distant and seem to move from one place to another. They have their own problems, which exist alongside the Notre-Dame case. The series tries to cover a lot of ground, and in doing so, it's unable to do justice to any single thread whatsoever.

Apparently, the apostles (the protectors of Notre-Dame) were removed four days before the fire. This suggests something mystical, and there are images of the cross and religious sculptures at certain points in Notre-Dame. The scene where a father and a daughter run towards a hospital at the same time also hints at a greater power at play. However, no omnipotent force can cover up this series' faults. Everything looks undercooked. There is nothing new in its approach when it talks about unpleasant journalism practices. The weakest link has to be the one involving that doctor/artist. Notre-Dame tries to wrap it up on an ineffable note, though it simply comes across as ludicrous. This version of Notre-Dame just goes up in smoke, and you don't feel the need to take something from here.

Final Score – [4.5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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