Amazon Prime, whose series that require serious budgets have reached a level of humiliation regarding viewership, achieves much greater success with its underdog series. In 2023, Amazon finally acquired the expected quality, especially with the second season of Carnival Row, and also hit the jackpot with Dead Ringers. Already having a name like Rachel Weisz in the cast was enough reason to watch the series, but the way it handles its story is even more striking than I expected. So much so that the series has achieved a strong coherence with its narrative that not only relies on the reputation of the actor, but also surpasses it.
Let’s briefly touch on the plot… The Mantle brothers, Beverly and Elliot, who are obstetricians, are looking for investment to open their own clinic. Rebecca(Jennifer Ehle), who will provide the investment, wants them to prove themselves and promote themselves. While the duo tries to prove themselves to a twisted and sometimes cult-like organization, Beverly also advances her love with Genevieve(Birtne Oldford) and gradually distances herself from her sister. The separation of the sisters, who have spent their entire lives together, pushes them psychologically to a dangerous point.
The original film was an adaptation of the 1977 book written by Jack Heasland and Bari Wood. The book was already inspired by the mysterious death of two obstetricians named Stewart and Cyrill Marcus. The series follows in the footsteps of the enigmatic brothers who died in 1975 and creates a similar story. The part of the series that is relatively different from the film is its psychological aspect and adaptation to the modern world. The brothers, who are already a strange pair with their lives and attitudes, start to experience different tastes of life beyond their classical living spaces. And in the end, they both sign a fate that ends in death.
Rachel Weisz is someone I always find worth watching. She is a magnificent actress. Now, having two of her in the series has doubled my excitement. But Amazon has managed to surprise me. They have designed a very tough, visually challenging, and intense story. It is a complicated series to watch for those who cannot bear the sight of blood, is nauseated by physical deformities, or faint when watching childbirth. Surprisingly, none of these listed elements have any fictional creativity. Almost all of them are based on events that an obstetrician encounters in their daily work life. I liked this part of the series the most. The series brilliantly conveys how savage and frightening everyday life can be visually.
Continuing from where I left off, with the successful storytelling, Rachel Weisz’s double-layered and exquisite acting adds to the experience, making the 6-hour-long series captivating. Despite playing sisters, Rachel Weisz portrays two completely different characters with meaningless expressions and sometimes a vacant look as effectively as possible. Her way of giving life to the characters is excellent, just as impressive as her emotional expressions. During the filming of the series, Weisz shot Elliot’s scenes first, then wore headphones to play Beverly and complete their dialogues together. As some of you may know, playing against nothing is difficult. Directors like James Cameron and Christopher Nolan try to keep the scene lively to increase the actors’ sense of reality. Rachel Weisz’s ability to converse with someone who is not there by listening to the dialogue in her headphones is genuinely admirable.
Returning to the story, the sisters are looking for investors for their clinic, and the investor they find asks for strange things. Although we might think the logical one is the Mantle sisters, as the episodes progress, we see the perverse relationship between the siblings. Their unspoken love for each other and the desire to have children lead them in different directions. While Beverly tries the IVF method with Genevieve, Elliot plays Frankenstein in her laboratory. However, the final outcome is entirely unexpected. I found the final twist in the series really successful.
In conclusion, Dead Ringers deliver a much better result than expected by adding an exciting and increasingly intriguing story to Rachel Weisz’s magnificent acting. The gradual mental decline of the sisters, their descent into madness, and their attempts to stay rational while striving for investment are excellently portrayed by Rachel Weisz. Unlike most movies/series where we watch the actors and follow the plot, Dead Ringers offer an engaging story. Rachel Weisz, with her ability to convey emotional changes through facial expressions, leads this engaging story excellently. The bold portrayal of the disturbing aspects of daily life, the implementation of the diversity concept without making it obvious, and having two Rachel Weisz’s in the series make it one of the most memorable works of 2023.
Cast & Crew
creator: Amazon Prime
starring: Rachel Weisz, Rachel Weisz, Britne Oldford, Jennifer Ehle
USA | 2023 | 6 EPISODES |