The Man in the High Castle is an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s 1962 alternative history novel about a world where the Nazis and the Germans won the World War 2 and took over the United States, it was adapted by Amazon into a 10 episode and released on their streaming system this November, as a fan of Philip K. Dick I was very excited to see this adaptation which was met with critical acclaim so I was very excited about it, after watching it though I am somewhat torn between a mixed feeling toward what I just saw, so here is my thoughts on The Man in the High Castle :
+ Setting : I am a somewhat fanatic of world war 2’s history, I read a lot about it and I am always interested in reading more naturally I will be drawn to a fictional world where the war has taking a different direction and won by the other side, it is not a world I want to live in mind you but it is nevertheless interesting to watch and this show has done an amazing job creating a Nazi and Japanese occupied United States, most notably the costumes are really amazing.
+ Performances : while nothing special from the three main leads (Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank) but some of the performances like Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was exceptionally good in my opinion he was really pleasant to watch also Rufus Sewell was also pretty good.
+ Cinematography : they really did a great job showcasing american landscapes with some beautiful lighting work.
+ Couple of really emotional moments : especially regarding Frank it is really heartbreaking to watch and it also gives you a window into what happened after the war and the crimes the Nazis and the Japanese committed.
+/- The Music : some of the score was very good it was pairing up well with the thrilling moments few they were, but the rest of the score wasn’t anything particularly interesting and it wasn’t pairing up well with the rest of the show, maybe this won’t be a big issue for most of the viewers but for me it really didn’t work well.
– Story : now here is the thing, the plot is great the settings is one of the highlight of the show but the story about a group of rebels gathering couple of films that was never explained was a real downer, and the ending didn’t help this at all it made it even more confusing, I am some what a fan of confusing plots (The Leftovers, Lost, Interstellar are my favorite stuff) but this one is just doesn’t seem like a good kind of confusing it is more of a mess and the writers doesn’t know how to get out of, I imagine that is why Philip K. Dick didn’t write a sequel to the novel maybe he was stuck.
– Sense of Danger : despite the fact that this show has some pretty emotional and brutal scenes but the danger involving the main characters seems to be non-existence, they come and go as they please out of embassies and police stations of these government buildings that are supposed to be under very well guarded by a military strong enough to take over the United states, it just doesn’t make any sense.
– A Lost war : this is my major gripe with the show, it fails to show any sense of balance in power between the resistance and the occupying forces, the fact is two huge armies who by the end of the show both are capable of using Nuclear bombs and not afraid to use it at all since they have used it and the rebels are one blonde woman a restaurant owner and the three main characters who collect these films for “The Man in the High Castle” who ever he is, unless if these films are magic there is no way they could win a war against the Japanese or the Nazis making me as a viewer feel like I am watching a pissing contest.
– The Love triangle : anyone who knows me knows that I loathe love triangles, in real life and in fiction and TMIHC has one, it is a triangle with the most basic elements a weird girl torn between two very good looking men one is an artist and the other is a truck driver, yay for me.
Verdict : Sadly The Man In The High Castle failed to make it’s very interesting setting anything remarkable leaving me with a cliffhanger that I want closure with while at the same time not caring if I get it, it is not great show and in this day and age with so many amazing shows it is hard to justify recommending one that is just merely Ok.