Devs

Devs is an American science fiction thriller television miniseries created, written, and directed by Alex Garland that premiered on March 5, 2020, on Hulu, as part of FX on Hulu.

The series is centered on Lily Chan (Sonoya Mizuno), a computer engineer whose boyfriend’s death is being investigated by Amaya, the quantum computing company they work for, and run by Forest (Nick Offerman).

The series explores themes related to free will and determinism, as well as Silicon Valley culture.

This time round, Garland returns with another piece of Cinema after Annihilation & Ex-Machina

However, he decides to choose the format of an 8 episode Miniseries to narrate his story

So, does he deliver with this format?

Let’s Find Out!

What Doesn’t Work?

  • For starters, there is hardly anything that goes wrong
  • Some of us could complain about the pace
  • However, given the nature of the Story, it is a minor quibble
  • The reason I state it’s minor is because with every passing episode, the build up of anticipation never subsides
  • It is enough for me to keep switching from 1 episode to the next
  • Garland has chosen a slow burn approach to the narrative which kind of worked for me

So, What Works for Devs?

  • Firstly, The Premise!
  • Devs chooses to delve into the world of Quantum Computing
  • This, right here, is a conversation opener
  • The ethics, morality of the possibilities are laid bare open
  • With every advance in the field, we tend to question our own understanding
  • Is it right? Is it wrong? Are we allowed to play God? How did we become so smug?
  • All these questions and many more start reflecting upon us
  • The justifications that we as pioneers utilise are themselves fickle in nature
  • Garland brings you face to face with reality
  • The one aspect that is worth respecting is the need to open a debate
  • Having said that, there are no judgments thrown around
  • The Script of Devs is tightly woven with finesse
  • All the aspects that I spoke about keep popping up in and around every episode
  • Even despite a slow burn approach, Garland never loses a grip on his characters
  • Considering he has directed all episodes, he is firmly in charge of the proceedings
  • The narrative keeps bumbling ahead at a break neck speed
  • Every Episode brings us closer to One Perennial Question: What is Devs?
  • The Build Up is pretty much crafted with flair and a sense of Dread
  • Eventually, when it arrives it leaves you numb for a moment
  • But, as soon as the numbness dissipates: Oh Boy!
  • The Final Scenes are Revelatory and literally leave you gasping
  • Another aspect that lends Devs a Visual Feel that resonates with the theme is it’s Beautiful Cinematography(Rob Hardy)
  • The Frames Hardy uses to capture Garland’s vision soak San Francisco with a layer of Mystery to be unveiled, and a sense of dread and despair waiting to occur
  • The Musical Score(Ben Salisbury, Geoff Barrow & The Insects) is truly exquisite
  • It Haunts your soul and pulls you in to the drama happening on screen
  • It’s been a long time since I have encountered a Background Score that can stay with you even after the show’s over
  • The Direction by Garland is Water Tight, Engaging and constantly makes you Think

The Performances?

  • Each and every Supporting Act out here is stellar
  • Even the characters around the leads have been etched out with care
  • There are quirks, tics and mannerisms that set them apart
  • However, the show relies solely on 3 major actors:
  • Mizuno (A Garland Regular) as the Girl friend trying to discover her missing boyfriend is simply out standing
  • She uses her acting prowess effectively to convey her despair and determination
  • These traits define the show and it’s possible out comes(No Spoilers)
  • Offerman as the the CEO of Amaya Technologies who is hell bent on innovation for a reason is a delight to watch
  • His motives to attain excellence are ambitious regardless of the repercussions
  • He balances a fine act of walking the thin rope between being humane yet narcissist
  • Finally, Pill as the Chief Designer of Devs and a partner in crime to the CEO hits the right notes
  • Her reasons to do what she does, what she believes in and why she needs to undertake certain actions are portrayed immaculately
  • These 3 Performances are dour, solid and the pillars on which Garland’s narrative rests on

The Verdict?

Devs deserves a viewing, I repeat, A Binge Viewing to be seen as A Whole Movie

The facets it raises in today’s era about our obsession with Technology, our disregard for consequences are worth pondering upon

Please do take the time to watch this Beautiful Gem of a Series

It will keep Haunting you long after it’s over

Alex Garland firmly stamps his Authority as an Auteur of Sci-Fi Premises with this venture

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