Destructive it is, in the truest sense of the term. Intelligent too, because he uses disorder to outline an order, confusion to channel himself into a method. Kaleidoscope is the new Netflix tv series with Giancarlo Esposito which has been making a lot of noise in recent weeks. A new experiment, but not too much, considering that several similar precedents can be traced in the most recent proposals in the serial field. And yet, the show that appeared on Netflix on the first day of the year leaves us there to wonder about substance and method, about form and content, about the narrative structure of a story that leaves you only half fascinated and which becomes even secondary with respect to the organization of the story. It’s experimental, it’s risky, and it’s definitely confusing as proof, yet one cannot help but talk about it, to look at it with suspicion, to feel the palate several times to understand if the final result has satisfied us or not. Kaleidoscope it is a microcosm in continuous movement: it has no beginning and no end, it is something that cannot be grasped, which escapes, which slips away exactly at the instant in which we believe we have grabbed it. And it is above all for this that it is worth talking about.
Kaleidoscope – this is the original title of the series created by Eric Garcia – is a visual experience even before a story.
Because of this, very personal, subjective, variable. The novelty is that the user can choose the order in which to watch the episodes. Netflix has identified one, but in the short introductory episode of the show, the creators explain that there is no precise thread to follow as in a traditional TV series: each user can immerse himself in the vision by making his own free assessment. Various articles are circulating on the net with ordering suggestions to keep in mind to enjoy the best viewing experience. But everyone can reason on different criteria of choice. That’s exactly the interesting thing about Kaleidoscope: it’s a non-linear tv series, which challenges the audience, which stimulates them to be an active part of the narrative. Something Netflix users had already experimented with Black Mirror: Bandersnatchthe interactive film made by Charlie Brooker for the platform. In the case of Kaleidoscopethe viewer cannot replace the protagonist, but he can anyway create the visual experience that suits them best. The experiment – it is not the first case of a television product that leaves the command in the hands of the public – could give rise to a series of works based on the same assumption. Innovations in the serial field also point in that direction, although they don’t leave everyone fully satisfied and equally enthusiastic.
The show with Giancarlo Esposito, thanks to this particular narration technique, becomes flexible, changeable, and everyone can have a different perception of it.
Just like the tiles in a kaleidoscope, the plot of history can also be disassembled and reassembled countless times to always arrive at a different result. The narrative strands multiply and give life to different images. The fragments are composed in colored and symmetrical figures, one segment is linked to the other and then disaggregate, dismember and reconnect with a new reflected image. It is he who wields the instrument who has the power to create the visions that can most please the eye. But the kaleidoscope is only a means that the creators of the series use to make a concept tangible and explicit: reality is not fixed, it is rather our vision that is. If you keep rotating the kaleidoscope, you will notice that each figure changes shape and color under our gaze. The same image, if observed from a different angle, can change and arouse different, even conflicting sensations. Which is why it is difficult to get the users who have watched to agree Kaleidoscope. The sequence you choose to follow to watch the series can influence the final judgment. Who opts for thechronological orderwill watch the episode first Viola and finally the Rosa, ranging from twenty-four years before the coup to six months after. On social channels, Netflix has left some tips for users: Kaleidoscope like a Tarantino movie, Kaleidoscope like a classic yellow, Kaleidoscope come Orange is the New Black. In short, the ways to immerse yourself in Eric Garcia’s heist story they are a lot and each in the end can leave something different in the viewer.
Kaleidoscope is a sort of puzzle to be put together and taken apart several times to grasp its meaning, to reach a synthesis.
The work of narrative deconstruction serves to arrive at a semblance of order once you get to the end. But can you really grasp it? The final perception is that of having taken part in a confusing experience. The upheaval, disorder, chaos distance the viewer from traditional schemes and can leave him forbidden, unable to express a clear judgment of condemnation or approval. Is the confusion generated by this phantasmagorical vision the signal of a failed experiment or the gamble of a work that wants to dare by focusing precisely on the relativity of the observation point? The Netflix series with Giancarlo Esposito pushes us to explore different possibilities, to observe the same story from different locations. It requires a massive amount of time to rearrange ideas and put them together, but it also induces us to reconsider what we have seen from another point of view, to resume the vision by slightly shifting the angle of view and once again reshuffling the cards on the table. It is the combinatorial art of storytelling, which however does not always leave you satisfied and satisfied. The disorder as a method to tell a story is an intuition that can work?
The organization – or disorganization – narrative of Kaleidoscope does it embellish or impoverish the plot?
These are questions that all Netflix users asked themselves once they got to the end – whatever it was – of the series. The impression of many was that of having simply watched a random show, without a precise logical thread. The fragmented plot ends up weakening the story. Kaleidoscope draws on the tradition of the caper movie, stages a detailed and detailed plot. At the center of the story is one robbery, organized according to precise and meticulous plans. The structure of a heist show resembles that of a puzzle, where each piece is put in the right place to fit it to the next one and to finally give a clear picture of what you want to represent. Telling the plan of a robbery in a scattered way can therefore become problematic and difficult to fully understand. Consequently, the plot comes out unnerved and frayed, weakened in its essence. In Kaleidoscope, as already mentioned, the story is likely to become secondary with respect to the narrative structure. And that may be one reason why the series doesn’t seem to take itself very seriously, preferring instead to play with the material he has available and see the effect it has on the viewer. The final judgement on the show therefore also depends a lot on the order that you have chosen to follow in watching it. Guessing the most linear sequence could help you better understand some aspects of the plot, while going in random order could favor other aspects, but leave a feeling of dissatisfaction once you get to the end.
This series goes beyond the very concept of spoilers and leaves a sense of incompleteness.
It is as if the vision had never really ended, as if there was something still unexpressed that one has not been able to grasp. The focus, rather than on the plot, is on the personages. Each color shows us a different side, a facet that we hadn’t noticed before. Which is why the lead role was given to an actor like Giancarlo Esposito, able to show himself a little at a time and to play an enigmatic character with a thousand nuances. Next to him, too Rufus Sewell, Paz Vega, Rosaline Elbay, Jai Courtney, Tati Gabrielle e Peter Mark Kendall. Total immersion in this visual experience allows you to observe the many faces of its protagonists following a narrative arc that is not already pre-established, but varies according to the order in which we choose to approach the episodes. A puzzle to be solved episode after episode, an enigma that can be discovered one piece at a time, leaving the viewer at the mercy of incompleteness. That it is precisely this impossibility of grasping an order, a sense of finiteness, the weapon on which he aims Kaleidoscope?
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