DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
While 'Black Narcissus' May Hit Some Stock Themes, It's Still an Intriguing Thriller
November 23, 2020  | By David Hinckley  | 18 comments
 


It's 1934, and a bunch of nuns from India troop across part of the Himalayas to move into an old palace in a remote village where they plan to start a school for native children.

What could possibly go wrong?

Perhaps equally to the point, does this sound like a story you really want to spend a night watching on television?

The question is valid. But Black Narcissus, which airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on FX, turns out to be surprisingly absorbing.

It also isn't a big investment of time. It only runs three hour-long episodes, and FX is showing them back-to-back-to-back before they migrate to Hulu on Tuesday.

Based on a popular Rumer Godden novel from 1939, Black Narcissus was adapted for a theatrical film in 1947 before being revived again now.

What elevates Black Narcissus this time around is a splendid performance by Gemma Arterton (top) as Sister Clodagh, an ambitious young nun who convinces Mother Dorothea (Diana Rigg, in her last performance) to let her lead the five nuns who will run this school.

Sister Clodagh is determined to make her mark somewhere. So is Sister Ruth (Aisling Franciosi), whom Mother Dorothea includes in the group despite Sister Clodagh's misgivings.

That inevitably causes some friction, but not before the group has run into bigger problems.

For starters, it turns out that a group of German monks had made a similar attempt to start a school in the same palace a year earlier and had abandoned the effort for reasons that aren't quite clear.

At the end of a long hike on foot through the Himalayas, while dressed in full habits, the nuns meet the palace's resident local, Angu Ayah (Nila Aalia). She's cordial, and she's cautious because she knows things about the palace and the village that she correctly figures the nuns will have to learn on their own.

The locals, not surprisingly, are fine with the idea of educating their children. What they don't want is for outsiders to start poaching their culture or introducing elements that undermine village life. Nuns being from the Catholic Church and all, they do have their own agenda, and that stirs some discontent as well.

The primary thread of Black Narcissus, however, spins out from the presence of Mr. Dean (Alessandro Nivola), a handsome all-purpose handyman and philosopher who seems to come with the building.

After annoying Sister Clodagh for the first third of the story, Mr. Dean wins her trust and friendship, which would be fine except, frankly, Mr. Dean and Sister Clodagh are both so young and vibrant that viewers will find themselves wondering why she's a nun and he's a handyman at a remote palace.

The explanations for those implicit questions come at a price. They also come in a cluster since several other characters face heart-vs.-mind crises in their own emotional lives. That includes Kanchi (Dipika Kunwar), a young girl that Mr. Dean brings to the school in hopes it can boost her into a better life.

Crises of faith, crises of duty, and crises of the heart are hardly uncharted waters for literature and film. Black Narcissus, given its time, place, and characters, could easily get lost in the murky, abstract symbolism beloved only of hard-core art-film fans. It doesn't. Civilians can understand it, and in the end, it's rather touching.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
LNCQS
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
18 Comments
 
 
We cermet inserts are a combination of ceramic and metallic materials resulting in high abrasion resistance and fracture resistance. The inserts consist of a lot of great features and its service life is 4-7 times of traditional carbide tools., welcome to our website to learn more about carbide inserts:https://www.estoolcarbide.com
Mar 27, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job
Mar 5, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
With a keen understanding of the business, Estool will help you shape the future of your business. Driven by an excellent management team, we provide industry standards and innovation for the future of manufacturing., welcome to our website to learn more about carbide inserts:https://www.estoolcarbide.com
Mar 1, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
The article you have shared is very interesting. I am really happy that I visit your webpage, and I am agree with what you said. Please keep sharing more
Feb 17, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog, I will keep visiting this blog very often
Feb 15, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
Feb 13, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read which are really not tht good. I also found your posts very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show it to my friend and he ejoyed it as well!
Feb 12, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
This is a great post I seen because of offer it. It is truly what I needed to see seek in future you will proceed after sharing such a magnificent post
Feb 11, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!
Feb 8, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Thanks, that was a really cool read
Feb 8, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
This is also a very good post which I really enjoy reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this
Feb 8, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
Carbide insert from Estool is able to bring product manufacturing molds and measuring tools live up to twenty to fifty times longer than that of alloy steel. Aside from that, there's no need for the molded product to be reprocessed or to go through re-grinding., welcome to our website to learn more about carbide inserts:https://www.estoolcarbide.com
Jan 29, 2024   |  Reply
 
 
This is a great post I seen because of offer it. It is truly what I needed to see seek in future you will proceed after sharing such a magnificent post
Nov 16, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work
Oct 19, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
this site will teach us how to deal with problems in our life. i strongly recommend every body at-least should visit site once
Jun 15, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
This site has supported me a lot to gain awareness in every way about my recent task! Now I have the best idea to how to deal problems! Thanks to them!
Feb 26, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
The author's unique perspective and in-depth knowledge were evident throughout the post, making it a worthwhile read.
Feb 26, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
The author's unique perspective and in-depth knowledge were evident throughout the post, making it a worthwhile read.
Feb 26, 2023   |  Reply
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: