Chernobyl Is A Reminder Of The Apocalypse Ahead

Chernobyl(HBO 5-part miniseries)

Starring  Stellan Skarsgard, Emily Watson, Paul Ritter

Directed by  Johan Renck

Rating; *** ½(3 and a half stars)

It’s easy to see the  where the superlative  reviews of this  5-part  series  are  coming from…and where they are  going. The fear of another impending nuclear disaster   on the monstrous scale  of Chernobyl, or to  take the analogy to a damning   extreme , we are living in a world  waiting  to do   a  Chernobyl  on  civilization.

 With India and  Pakistan so fashionably  nuclear-armed HBO’s  Chernobyl is  a timely warning  . and  in many parts, devastating in the details of   the damage and  destruction that  destroyed nearly a million  lives in Russia.

From the beginning of  the  series as  the  clouds of calamity kick in almost immediately, we see director  JohanRenck and his writer  Craig Mazin piling up their  desks with  reams of  research. The Chernobyl disaster renders  itself to innumerable discussion and exposes .And  for the  writer and  director to plod and  wade  through  it all without  serving up an over-detailed  unhurried drama  that builds up slowly, but not so slowly as  to let  audiences’ interests flag, is something of  a  miraculous achievement.

And  yet I found some of  the  rigorous research that has gone into this commendable expose  to  obstruct a  free-flowing narrative. The fluidity  in the temperament is  tampered  by preserving the   sanctity ‘What Must  Have Been’ . I can fully understand the  need to be  scrupulous to a human catastrophe on  a level that defies all rationale.We must respect this project’s  pursuit  of the  truth.

The sense  of dread and  doom hangs over Chernobyl  to  its fatal finale. There  is no escaping the sense  of  calamity  that  underlines  every move. And  radiation is no  fodder for drama. Director Johan Renck ensures we  keep staring  in shock as  the horrors of  the event unfold.

There are  bouts of incredible  bravely punctuating and piercing  the bleak and  deathly calm that shrouds  the  presentation. My favourite act  of courage is when coal miners are  roped in to dig a tunnel to contain the toxic leakage. Working airlessly stark-naked   for weeks  in the  claustrophobic tunnel knowing  death awaits at the end ,  is more than just an act  of  self-sacrifice.  It reflects  on the desperate times that the country , its bureaucracy and  its work-force  must have gone through as Man feel prey to a political devastation on an unimaginable scale.

Chernobyl doesn’t  waste too much time on statistics. Instead  it recreates events from  the  worst manmade disaster to illustrate  the two  sides of human nature:  humanity and inhumanity, the latter mostly attributable to a  blinkered blinded and insensitive  bureaucracy  that wanted to cover up the  ghastly  tragedy rather than heal wounds  or comfort  a country of suddenly  dying civilians.

This is a series that no one  should miss.What happened  at Chernobyl  may happen again.And this time there may not be a film on the tragedy 35 years  later to remind the  coming generations of  how repetitive  politics is  all over  the world of its  blunders.

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