Hulu’s new original The Act based on a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy is lead by strong front-runners Joey King and Patricia Arquette which is a shocking delight in its own way.
Gypsy Rose Blanchard ( Joey King) is suffering from an illness which makes her sit on a wheelchair all day and even keeps her head bald. Her mother Dee Dee Blanchard ( Patricia Arquette) is an over-protective parent who takes way too many extra precautions for Gypsy because of her condition. But is this all really true or a fabricated lie? As you come close towards the end of the first episode you are left with a question of who killed Dee Dee and why?
The Act is a part of Hulu’s five-part mini-series on true crimes theme. Based on Michelle Dean wrote the original BuzzFeed article, the limited series shows the love of daughter and and a mother who has made her daughter’s disability, a source of income and how that love fades away with time when Gypsy realizes that her mother is using her in some way and trying to steal her freedom. The series reveals different little yet trenchant shocks at each episode. The problem is the slow pace at which the show is running. And in some places, you can clearly tell about using Gypsy innocence as a tool for over-dramatization. The director tries make an emotional connection between us and Gypsy. But clearly that alone doesn’t deserve an eight-episode long series. It would have been better if the story was portrayed in a documentary. Though the show is based on real events still some liberty is taken for better dramatization.’ this line alone at end of every episode makes you question whether the original Gypsy is really this innocent?
What really makes the show exceptional-worthy is the really strong performances of Joey KIng and Patricia Arquette. Also Calum Warthy is the dark horse of the show. He did a spell-bounding job. The very beginning shots of the first episode are very effective and able to build the tension in our minds about the show. “ I know that she did bad things,but she cared about me , she loved me. He didn’t.” Similar dialogues like this really can make you feel bad about her being so innocent.
Acting - 4 / 5.
Direction - 3.5 / 5.
Script - 3.5 / 5.
Cinematography - 3 / 5.
Music - 2 / 5.
FINAL VERDICT - 3.5 / 5.
Overall the show is actually pretty good but would have been an absolute treasure if the story was made into a documentary.