Home TV Shows Reviews ‘The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart’ Prime Video Series Review - It’s All Very Tedious

‘The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart’ Prime Video Series Review - It’s All Very Tedious

The series follows Alice Hart as she grows up in the aftermath of her tangled past, culminating in an emotional climax in which she finds herself struggling for her life against a man she loves.

Vikas Yadav - Wed, 02 Aug 2023 17:17:20 +0100 3006 Views
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While reading an article by TV critic Inkoo Kang titled Hollywood's Slo-Mo Self-Sabotage, I came across this disturbing line, "The TV writer Lila Byock told my colleague Michael Schulman this spring that the streamers are most eager for 'second-screen content': shows to have on in the background while the viewer presumably scrolls through their phone." This explains why many of the new shows on the streaming services look so bland and dreary, and why many critics call them as "background noise." You can keep the show running in the background while doing laundry. The studios don't want audiences to use their brains while watching their airbrushed, banal content. Just hit the play button, and you are free to check your messages. What happens on the screen doesn't necessarily need to be seen by your eyes.


Amidst such a depressing scenario, we now have a depressing series like The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. It's dispiriting not because of its story but because of its cumbersome filmmaking. Every single shot is burdened with deep emotions. Every single scene wants to be significant. The mood here is so somber that you forget how to smile. The series, in its pursuit of wanting to tell a serious and sad story, ends up filling us with ennui. Every image in The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart bleeds, screams, and weeps for your attention and pity. It's not a show designed to be background noise. Yet, the gloominess only makes you want to look at your mobile screen.


Alice (Alyla Browne when young, Alycia Debnam-Carey when adult) has a caring (and pregnant) mother, Agnes (Tilda Cobham-Hervey), and an abusive father, Clem (Charlie Vickers). The patriarch dominates the household, and his presence suffocates the surroundings. At one point in the series, when the parents go to the hospital and leave Alice alone in the house, we see the little girl joyously somersaulting. Clem is so horrible that Alice imagines burning him in the fire. What do you know, she does start a fire, albeit accidentally, and burns her house down! As a result, the parents - and an unborn baby - die. Alice goes into a coma, and a book read by a librarian named Sally (Asher Keddie) helps her regain consciousness. This moment might as well be saying, "Books are incredibly powerful. They can transport you to the realm of fiction and also bring you back to reality." If the scene indeed comes with such a suggestion, then it's ironic how it exists in a show that fails to display the power of storytelling.


The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart has a lifeless body. The message it delivers is this: Men are abusive, and women are complicit in nurturing their toxicity. Sure, there are male characters who are gentle and kind. But they are relegated to the background and almost seem inexistent. The same can be said about most of the women who stay at Thornfield, run by Clem's mother, June (Sigourney Weaver). Apart from three or four of them, everyone is put under the blanket of "suffered from abusive attacks," which is why their faces become a blur. They merely disappear into the crowd and appear like indistinct background actors who simply fill the frames.


The first few episodes focus on June and Sally fighting for Alice, and the show does a good job of making us understand both sides. But this promising aspect is buried under a dour treatment that sucks the life out of everything. While watching The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, you feel the weight of every excruciating second, and at the end of every episode (they run for almost an hour), your enthusiasm deteriorates sharply. My hands didn't even want to click on the play button. What's worse is that the gigantic runtime isn't used to flesh out the characters or expand the story with vigor. The characters are stuck and merely tell us what's written on the pages. They don't have any religious or political viewpoints. June's business, too, is something that just seems to occur automatically. We notice women working in the fields, but how does this farm generate profit? How do they sustain their business? And do they never face any complications or competition?


The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart consists of a few so-called dreamy images, which are laughable. It attempts to be poetic or something but only comes across as dull, literal, and predictable. Everything is present on the surface. When a man ties a necklace, it looks as if it's choking the woman. Translation: The man is evil and oppressing the woman. Such unimaginative images ask us to consider them as metaphors, and you can't do anything but helplessly laugh at them. The show always takes the most obvious route in order to teach a lesson to the audience. Take Dylan (Sebastián Zurita). As soon as he makes an appearance, he exudes strong, wicked vibes from him. Of course, Alice leaves the friendly veterinarian and hooks up with this bearer of toxicity. What does she actually see in him? I wanted to feel what Alice was feeling for Dylan. The show, however, offers nothing but emptiness. This relationship develops so that the series can connect it to the one between Clem and Agnes. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart simply wants to make a point, for which it recycles that cliché of a girl choosing a cruel man over a nice guy.


In The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, a woman develops motherly instincts for another girl, a boy and a girl plan to travel the world, and a brother and a sister unite after many years. Still, these tender moments fail to leave an impression. The only strong emotion is in Clem's - and later Dylan's - anger. It's funny how in a show that deals with the emancipation of women, it's the men who generate forceful emotion. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart shows zero promise from the beginning itself. You understand things won't get any better as soon as Teardrops jarringly starts playing over the end credits of the first episode. Even some of the flashbacks in the later episodes are clumsily inserted. Is there a flower that says, "You are tedious?" If yes, then give it to this show. Women already encounter so many troubles in the real world. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart adds boredom to their (and other viewers') list of problems.


Final Score- [3/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times
Note: All seven episodes are screened for this review.
Premiere Date: August 4, 2023, with the first three episodes, then one episode every Friday on Prime Video

 

 

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