The Undoing Review: The Crisis of the New York Elite

The Undoing Review: The Crisis of the New York Elite

The Undoing Review – HBO‘s “The Undoing” is one of the most talked about series of recent times … Star actors such as Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant; A work that reveals its claim from the beginning with the presence of the screenwriter David E. Kelley, who has written popular TV series such as “Ally McBeal”, “Big Little Lies”, and his director, Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier.

Based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2014 novel “You Should Have Known”, “The Undoing” is essentially a “Who is the murderer?” Detective… There is a horrible and bloody murder at the center of the story. Therefore, it is not possible to say that it is a bright series; but the generic begins with the opposite feeling. In the credits, we see a little girl who we guess is Grace Fraser, played by Nicole Kidman. She looks happy and cheerful with everything. The credits have an optimistic and very light atmosphere that contrasts with the selected colors and visual feel of the entire series … But the blood-red colors that make the murder feel appear and disappear. The generic, accompanied by a pleasant and emotional song, ends with little Grace popping a soap bubble.


The Undoing Review – It is possible to say that Grace Fraser’s whole life until the murder of Elena Alves was a “soap bubble” light and sweet life. Grace is the daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families… She has a very strong father (Donald Sutherland) to call when she gets in trouble. He has a successful career as a Harvard graduate clinical psychologist. In his spare time he is doing charity work. His wife, Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant), whom he met years ago at the university, is an oncologist… They have a trouble-free son who attended the most expensive private school in the city and also studied violin, and they live in a beautiful and big house opposite Central Park.

One day, Grace faces the fact that this whole happy life is a great illusion. For example, it turns out that he does not know his wife of 18 years well at all. As he discovers the truths that not only his wife but his best friend Sylvia (Lily Rabe), her father and son Henry (Noah Jupe) have kept from herself, she sees everything she believes is destroyed. Until the murder of Elena Alves turned her life upside down, Grace is actually as peaceful and happy as the girl in the credits… She lives her life as an illusion in the circle of safety that her father created for her at a young age. As a psychologist, he shares perhaps the most hidden secrets of other people; He analyzes their lives and relationships in depth, but lives unaware of the problems in his relationship and under his nose …

‘The Undoing’, A Story From New York’s Elite


The Undoing Review – ‘The Undoing’ is a series based on the question of how Grace Fraser, a psychologist from the elite segment of New York, can recover her ‘sweet life’ that has been destroyed … Leaving aside the answer to the question ‘Who is the killer?’ Which became clear in the sixth and last episode, the whole series It is based on Grace Fraser’s reactions to what happened to her after the murder of Elena Alves… The common feature of all good detectives is that the question ‘Who is the killer?’ Is just a bait. What really matters is the experiences the characters go through while we pursue that oath …

Besides, “The Undoing” is a series with a well-established dramatic mechanism as a detective … Until the last episode, there are some clues that all the main characters, including Grace, can commit murder. For example, Grace’s father makes such a threatening speech to the school principal that we sense that there is a dark side in it… Also, an environment in which we cannot trust anyone is created. Looking farthest from the scene, Sylvia and even little Henry join the circle of doubt that surrounds us. On the other hand, seeds of thought that everyone can be innocent are planted in our minds. Undoubtedly, all these are the basic rules of detective … But I cannot say that I liked ‘The Undoing as a crime thriller or court thriller. For example, I do not think that the 4th and 5th chapters have too many dramatic functions beyond foaming the detective intrigue and confusing us even more. On the other hand, I find the first 3 episodes much more interesting, focusing on Grace’s reactions, confusions and inner conflicts to the incident.

Especially the first episode … Because this episode is about the strange ‘shooting’ between Grace Fraser and Elena Alves (Matilda De Angelis), whose name cannot be fully named… The process that started with Elena breastfeeding her baby at the charitable parents’ meeting culminates with a little kiss in the elevator … The naive viewer, who knows nothing about the novel and the series, might even think that the rest of the series will focus on the relationship between Grace and Elena. After all, Grace is obviously impressed with Elena, and there are striking contrasts between the two.


The Undoing Review – Elena appears as the symbol of uncontrollable sexual passion or pure libido… Elena is an artist who does not speak to her emotions. Grace, on the other hand, is a total control person who uses her analytical intelligence in her work. He can stay calm even in the most difficult moments. Especially the sixth and final episode shows what Grace can do when she uses her analytical intelligence… On the other hand, we feel that there is something in Elena that Grace has lacked in her life. These are things about courage, passion and honesty… By contrast, Elena is much more fragile and weaker than Grace.

The discovery of the bond between Elena and her husband after the first episode of the series affects Grace much more. His emotional connection with Elena brings a very different vibe to the rest of the series.

The striking thing about the second and third parts is that it is about Grace’s decision… Will she stand next to Jonathan, who insists on saying that she is innocent, or will she face the anger of being deceived? So how will he know that his wife Jonathan, who lied to him for years, was telling the truth about the murder? How will he decide between conscience and family interests when in crisis? ‘These are the main questions on which The Undoing takes shape …


The Undoing Review – On the other hand, the drama puts a distance between us and Grace. In her conversation with lawyer Haley Fitzgerald (Noma Dumezweni), we cannot understand what Grace was thinking. The lawyer clearly says, “Even if he is guilty, I can save him.” At that point, Grace’s real motivation to help her husband remains ambiguous for us as well. Is he doing everything to save his child from being the son of a murderous father? Or is it for himself? If she turns out to be innocent, does she want to move on with Jonathan? All of these are questions that Grace has not been able to answer … We also sense the possibility that her social position will take precedence over everything else. We already guess that he thought “a cheating man is better than a murderer wife or father”. With Jonathan’s innocence, the family will be acquitted somehow because …

A Powerful School in American Police – The Undoing Review

“The Undoing” was a good drama for me as it captured all the chaos in Grace’s mind. Especially in terms of the first 3 episodes… This is a strong school in American crime… Character analysis comes to the fore rather than the question of “Who is the killer?” Moreover, here the characters are viewed not only psychologically but also socially… Especially the social position of Grace Fraser and her father Franklin Reinhardt is carefully underlined. Director Susanne Bier makes the Central Park scenic area of ​​Manhattan, where the New York elites live, an important part of the film’s visuality. Father Franklin Reinhardt lives in the Upper East, and Grace and his family live in the Upper West. Central Park stretches between them.

Susanne Bier maintains a narrative that never gives up close plans throughout the series… Obviously, she wants us to get closer to those who pass through the minds of the characters and make our own decisions about them… In the first episodes, she also pays special attention to the close plans of the eyes. Tearing eyes or lips from the integrity of the face is a habit from film noir. Some directors do this kind of shots especially for their ‘femme fatale’ characters… Bier includes Elena Alves in the film with a ‘femme fatale’ feeling in the first episode. But rather than that, it brings Grace’s eyes closer to us. As the series progresses, Elena Alves is moving away from the femme fatale image; becomes a victim. New York turns into a character who longs for the elite life and stands out with his class side. On the other hand, artist Elena Alves’ house and workshop are depicted as warm, passionate spaces filled with vitality compared to the dark-colored homes of New York elites. Elena is a natural character who stands in direct opposition to the heavy, cold and dull world of the New York elite.


The Undoing Review – By the way, let’s point out that the cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle has also done a functional and solid job from start to finish. It is noteworthy that Grace’s wealthy father, Reinhardt, who had everything he wanted in life, obsessed with a painting in the museum that he could not have. We see him constantly looking at the same painting. The golden warm yellow light dominating the painting represents a palette of colors that we cannot see in the lives of New York elites.

When it comes to actor performances, I think Nicole Kidman did a very good job, as always, with Grace Fraser, who is at the center of the show. Kidman subtly comments on Fraser’s emotional adventure. Hugh Grant puts his signature under one of the best performances of his career by showing different aspects of his acting. In Franklin Reinhardt, master Donald Sutherland and young Noah Jupe, who reflects very well how a child at that age can be affected by the process, are also successful … Edgar Ramirez in the police detective, Matilda De Angelis in Elena, Ismael Cruz Cordava in Elena’s wife and lawyer Haley Fitzgerald ‘ It can be said that Noma Dumezweni made important contributions to the series with her performances.

The final part, where we learn who the killer is, stands out especially with the court scenes and is watched with interest and excitement to a certain extent. But the action-thriller sequence that comes after everything is resolved seems too unnecessary and lightens the dramatic weight of the series …

Despite some of the aspects I don’t like, ‘The Undoing’ has been a series where the pluses predominate.

The Undoing Review & Trailer;

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