Nickel Review: 5 Categories, 5 Words
Series Review of “Mr. Robot”
Score & Sound: foreboding
Art & Wardrobe: diametric
Nickel Rating: 5/5¢
Cinematography: The cinematography of Mr. Robot is one of it’s premiere elements. The consistency is evident; we have Tod Campbell as the director of photography for the entire series. The discarnate camera work is definitely a deliberate decision to discomfort. Discarnate in the sense that many of Tod’s frames are loaded with negative space with the subject typically being off center: a lonely, floating head. This is meant to tell the audience that the characters often have their mind on affairs not currently transpiring. Elliot is perpetually lost in thought. There’s so much room in some takes that you can almost imagine the thought bubbles popping out of their heads.
Score & Sound: The sound design is in sync with the ominous cinematography. Elliot is an unreliable narrator, and the series is directly from his perspective (more on that later), so the musical score and the foley offer a heightened and foreboding experience in line with Elliot’s pessimistic view of the world.
Art & Wardrobe: The key with the costuming is how diametrically opposing the characters are to their surroundings. The contrast is cranked way up. Elliot is frequently in a black hoodie with his head down, walking the lively streets of NYC, or standing across from the pied attire of either Darlene or White Rose, or even just being lit differently than his vicinity. It’s all in an effort to make him stand out as particularly drab and bleak.
Story: It’s abundantly clear that Sam Esmail planned the series in its entirety from the get go. The writing carefully pays fair tribute to each of the characters, allowing them to operate realistically in this dystopia. Much like many of the crimes committed throughout the series, the plot is premeditated and concisely wrapped up in four seasons. As you watch this series, episodes discussions are your friend; there are an abundance of delicately placed breadcrumbs to comb through, all with satisfying origins and resolutions. Computer geeks will always note just how accurate the coding can be.
Acting: The casting for this series is superb. Rami Malek rose to fame as Elliot Alderson, and if you told anyone that he would also play Freddy Mercury, you would be laughed at. With standout performances from Christian Slater, BD Wong, and Bobby Cannavale, Sam Esmail spared no expense securing the ideal actor to energize each role. With so much at stake every season, everyone need to be a healthy balance of frenetic and cerebral.
Nickel Rating: 5/5¢: I’m sure it’s clear by now that I loved this series. If you like dark, profound shows that make you contemplate the state of
fsociety, Mr. Robot is for you. Get past the eccentric, puerile title and watch it.