'Undone' and 'Game Over': what if life gives you a second chance?

The new Amazon Prime show takes you down the road of science-fiction to tell you the tale of 'broken' people

“I’m so bored of living. I wake up every morning in the same bed with the same person. I shower. Brush my teeth. I get dressed. And I eat the same breakfast. And, then, take the same commute to work. I’m 28 years old and I’m terrified this is all there is. Sometimes, I’ll be in a store, and I’ll be looking at two different cans of beans, and I’ll think, “These beans are better.” “No, these beans are better.” And then, I’ll think, “That’s the most boring thought anyone’s ever had.” I mean everything is pointless.”

Did that opening paragraph give you a reality check? Did you take a moment to relax and go through it all over again just to savor those lines? Well, that’s how Amazon Prime Video’s Undone welcomes you. The series opens with a car accident, from which the show goes backwards to the point where Alma (Rosa Salazar) begins to resent her life – at least, the way she’s straitjacketed into a life of monotony.

Alma has, perhaps, always looked down upon the situations that have shaped her reality. She wants something more in which she can experience newer things. She wants to be with her dad (played by Bob Odenkirk), who died in an accident when she was young, and have a happy family where she doesn’t have to wear a fake smile every time she meets her mom (played by Constance Marie) and younger sister (played by Angelique Cabral).

We’ve all had those days where we thought that if we went to the past and changed some things, we could give ourselves another chance to correct our mistakes. And that’s how the idea of Undone, which uses the rotoscope technique where animation is drawn over footage of live actors, was probably born. Created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg (known for the hugely popular Netflix show, BoJack Horseman) and Kate Purdy, the series takes you down the road of science-fiction to tell you the tale of “broken” people.

'Undone' and 'Game Over': what if life gives you a second chance?

Alma’s dad, a Theoretical Physics professor, explains that mystics, priestesses, and shamans have larger ventricles which give them the ability to travel back and forth in time. He comes back from the dead and tells Alma that if she wants to alter her reality, she can do so by accepting her talents and utilizing them in the right manner. Earlier this year, Russian Doll – created by Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, and Amy Poehler – which also dealt with similar themes, like time-travel, monotony, and death, albeit with different repercussions, had at its center the same grand novelty. Several chances were given to Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett) to confront the demons they were hiding from – in this case, the demons were a bunch of truths.

In Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, an extra life (gaming term as the film is set in the world of virtual reality) is given to Wade (Tye Sheridan) in the climax so that he can win the competition and take ownership of a mega-gaming-business. And, in Ashwin Saravanan’s Tamil-Telugu bilingual, Game Over, Swapna (Taapsee) is given three chances to save herself from serial killers. She goes to a dream-like state twice and ends up getting murdered in both of them. Though, she doesn’t understand what’s happening to her in the beginning, she soon catches up with the tricks her mind is playing and learns that there are actually three killers in total and not just one as she had guessed. So, she ups her strategies for the third time, and, with the help of Kalamma (Vinodhini Vaidyanathan), her househelp and caretaker, defeats the intruders.

If Swapna hadn’t gotten those chances, she would have easily been killed. The circumstances and the outcomes are different in each of these shows and films, yet they give their leads the hope that things would be fine, and, all that they’d need to do is go back to the past and change their decisions. Doesn’t it sound very simple?

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 9:38:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/for-a-second-chance/article29723946.ece

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