Review: Shadow and Bone
In our new series, we at Suggest Nest will do a review each week of the latest movie/tv show/ music album/ book. We will try to make the review as honest and raw as possible without giving away any suspense and also keeping it as brief as possible.
No. of Seasons: 1 (8 episodes)
Duration: 45 - 58 mins
Original Release: 2021 - present
Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes
Genre: Fantasy, Drama
Where To Watch: Netflix
The first season focuses on the characters of Alina Starkov and Mal. Alina, a mapmaker, sets on a journey across the dangerous Blackfold. Alina discovers she has extraordinary powers as well as that she is a Grisha. The antagonist character of General Kirigan wants to use her powers towards his sinister plans. While the characters from the novel, Six of Crows - Inej, Kaz and Jesper find their way into the series. This first season is an introduction to the characters and the story.
The series was released on April 23. Rode on the first position in the trending charts for nearly a month, the show has gained popularity across the globe. It is even touted to be the next big thing on Netflix.
The show is primarily based on the novels of Grishaverse - Shadow and Bone, Six of Crows written by Leigh Bardugo.
Alina's character, innocent and vulnerable at the same time, occupies most of the showtime with her male companion Mal who's a soldier in the First Army while Alina is a Cartographer. The show primarily focuses on Alina's story with Mal playing the supporting role. The show secondarily concentrates on the interesting characters from the novel: Six of Crows. Inej, Kaz and Jesper. It's the friendship bond of these 3 which brings a feel-good factor to the series which otherwise seems a little dark with its first season. The show has a good but not so satisfying ending that knocks on the audience's door to come back for more next season.
Jessie Mei Li who plays the central character of Alina Starkov does a really good job on the screen. She perfectly portrays the vulnerability and the innocence of the character. It is a joy to watch her in the series.
The show is shot in some of the most beautiful locations one could imagine like Budapest (Hungary) and Vancouver (Canada). The beautiful picturesque cinematographic experience is surely one of the best aspects of the first season.
The beautiful bond between the 3 Characters Inej, Kaz and Jesper is surely the best aspect of the series. Though not much showtime is given to their characters in this season which we wish will be more in the next season. Also, whatever has been shown, the triad has won the hearts with its amazing on-screen bond.
It's hard for a series adapted from a novel to live up to the brilliance of the latter. Many fans of the novel have been critical of the way certain characters were portrayed. There is certainly much to do with character buildup in the series as to how they have evolved slowly and beautifully in the novel.
The antagonist character of General Kirigan certainly doesn't live up to its character's true potential. The all-powerful villain's character is so interesting and intriguing but it lacks the physicality which was visible in the last fight between him and Mal which never lived up to its terms. The show makers can certainly do more to improve and light up the important character of the Dark Knight.
A must watch for the fantasy story lovers out there. Though the first season is just an introductory season for the characters and its story like any other fantasy-based series's first season. A dark and feel-good series, it certainly hooks you up to your screens, asking for more.
Our rating of this show is 3.5/5
By Akash Vaishnav (Suggest Nest)