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Critics Review
Nine Perfect Strangers review: Nicole Kidman's version of Wild Wild Country'side' is a hard pass

In the words of Masha Dmitrichenko, 'you're already suffering' while watching Nine Perfect Strangers.

2.0
Aishwarya Vasudevan
Aug 24, 2021
cover image
Nine Perfect Strangers
Story:

The miniseries surrounds nine different people who arrive at Tranquillum House. It's a wellness retreat that promises 'total transformation'. On their arrival, the guests fall under the spell of Masha Dmitrichenko, the mysterious wellness guru. She stops at nothing to heal them and as the day progresses, her unorthodox methods take a threatening turn for everyone.

Review:

Many often believe in 'Third time's the charm', but in the case of Nine Perfect Strangers, it's otherwise. Nicole Kidman collaborated with her Big Little Lies and The Undoing creator David E. Kelley for the latest series which is a disappointment at many levels.

The actor plays the founder of a wellness resort, Tranquillum House, where she only allows nine people at once for a 10-day retreat. Nicole as Masha Dmitrichenko, the wellness guru brings nothing new to the table. Her aura and mysterious appearance are quite done and dusted in different premises.

The nine strangers include a novelist, a couple grieving the death of their son, also their daughter who is mourning the death of her twin brother, a mysterious gay man, a social media influencer, a man who won a lottery, a single mother whose husband left her for a younger woman and a former football player who is struggling with drug addiction.

Although only the first three episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers are out, the series is not engaging despite having an interesting premise and a stellar star cast. It failed to get me hooked to it from the initial episodes, thus I’m not expecting much from the forthcoming ones.

Everyone's a stranger at the retreat centre in the show. They try to show their extremes and ugly sides in the pilot episodes which appears unconvincing and too deliberate. The series has been released at a time when many across the globe desire to go for a retreat owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. But it's more of an inferno than a retreat.

The show-stealer of Nine Perfect Strangers is Melissa McCarthy as a writer who is struggling between her professional and personal life. The actor's charismatic and snobbish attitude make the show lighter and breezier to watch.

The other one that manages to leave a mark is Regina Hall as a single mother whose husband left her for a younger woman. She has left no stone unturned in getting into the skin of her character and it shows on screen too.

A series has the advantage of having the scope to give every character the space and time to create an arc in every episode. But sometimes it becomes the very reason to call the show a 'drag'. Nine Perfect Strangers, unfortunately, falls in the latter category. The series starts with no purpose and continues with it subsequently.

It's a drab Wild Wild Country'side' situation but with more silence and a pointless plot. Although the miniseries is based on the novel Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, maybe catching up with the book might have been more interesting.

Nicole is Osho personified with a dark past, who with her mysterious avatar and spooky dialogues makes her customers go rogue. Intense words coming from her mouth 'You're already suffering' and 'This is Tranquillum. I mean to f**k with all of you' are hard-hitting but the impact is abysmal.

Yves Bélanger has done a commendable job as a cinematographer by capturing the wellness retreat as a place worth the visit with nature's beauty surrounding it from every angle. The show has been shot in Byron Bay, New South Wales and the beachside town makes the show look breathtaking and Yves has to be praised for the same.

Despite having a talented bunch of actors from Nicole, Melissa, Regina to Luke Evans, the weak script overpowers their performance making the show not even worth getting a deserving chance.

Verdict:

Catch up with The Big Little Lies if you haven't watched it or binge-watch The White Lotus for good content and better performances by a team of talented actors.

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