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Home GAMING Review: Netflix's luscious The Sandman is the stuff dreams are made of

Review: Netflix’s luscious The Sandman is the stuff dreams are made of

Enlarge / Neil Gaiman’s classic “unfilmable” graphic novel series gets the adaptation it always wanted.

Netflix

Like many nerds of a certain age, I have long adored the work of Neil Gaiman. Sandman graphic novel series; it was a huge influence on my younger self. So I was excited to learn of the planned Netflix adaptation when it was announced in 2019, but I also experienced some trepidation due to past misguided efforts to bring the story to the screen. That concern was unjustified because The Sandman is a triumph. It’s everything I hoped to see in an adaptation, and it was worth the wait.

(Warning: some spoilers for the original graphic novels and Netflix series below.)

The titular “sandman” is Dream, but he is also called Morpheus, among other names. He is one of the seven entities known as the Endless. (The other Endless are Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire, Delirium, and Death.) Gaiman’s 75-issue revival of DC’s character is a bizarre mix of mythology, fantasy, horror, and history, riddled with literary references and a bit of dark humor. There really is nothing quite like it, and the series proved to be very popular and enduring. an independent story“Summer night Dream” (The Sandman No. 19) It even won the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Fiction Short Film, the only time a comic book has been so honored.

The first season draws heavily on the events depicted in Preludes and Nocturnes other a doll house, with some additional elements excerpted or referenced to later material. We open with Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) leaving the Dreaming to bring back a prodigal nightmare named Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook). Before he can do so, he is captured by an occult ritual performed by an occultist named Roderick Burgess (Charles Dance), who sought to capture Death in order to bring back his son, who died in World War I. Dream refuses to give in to his demands. , and while the aristocrat’s son, Alex (Laurie Kynaston), initially considers freeing Morpheus, he eventually becomes his father’s accomplice.

Dream is imprisoned for 106 years and is finally released in 2021. But Dreaming went bankrupt in his absence and his power totems (his helm, his sandbag, and his ruby) were stolen. He must retrieve the totems and begin to restore the Dreaming, which includes tracking down the Corinthian and other escaped dreams and nightmares. He must also deal with the appearance of a Vortex, a human being with the ability to walk through the dreams of others, weakening the barrier between the waking world and the dream world and capable of destroying them completely.

There’s a lot to love about this adaptation, but let’s start with the brilliant cast, which includes big names like Dance, David Thewlis (John Dee), Stephen Fry (Gilbert/Fiddler’s Green), Patton Oswalt (voicing Matthew the Raven), Mark Hamill ( voicing Mervyn Pumpkinhead) and Derek Jacobi (Erasmus Fry). With his slim build, razor-sharp cheekbones, and deep voice, Tom Sturridge is a compelling Morpheus, even when Dream comes across as overly proud, mean-spirited, or downright cruel early on, flaws that are critical to the character’s personal growth throughout the game. grade. of history He’s not just a pretty emo boy, and that’s largely due to Sturridge’s performance.

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