HBO’s latest offering ‘Chernobyl’has grabbed a lot of attention in the last few days since it was released. This mini-series, co-starring Jared Harris, Emily Watson and StellanSkarsgard, is a very grave picturization of one of the worst human disasters in modern history. Written by Craig Mazin (of “The Hangover” Parts II and III fame) and directed by Johan Renck, this five-episode series brings back to life the tragic event of 1986 in erstwhile USSR and does not shy away from showing the horrors committed during that time. It gives the audience a glimpse of the events before, during and after the nuclear explosion, ill effects of which can be seen in Europe till date.
What is it about?
The story follows the perspectives of multiple characters – a pregnant mother who witnesses the blasts from her bedroom window and has to bear the grief of her bereaved husband , scientists who are trying to gauge what has happened and ways to control the radiation exposure; and politicians in Moscow who have to take a call on the sacrifices that need to be made in order to restore stability in the affected region.
This is also a tribute to the unsung heroes – the civilian liquidators, who got ‘recruited’ to clean up the toxic mess, not knowing what they had signed up for. The prolonged radioactive exposure led to health issues and significantly shorter lifespans of these saviours. In fact, one of the most gripping scenes is of a troop of men marching into a nuclear zone chanting ‘I serve the Soviet Union’ – a telling remark on the disillusion created by the Communist state on its people that the situation was under control and they would not get affected.
It is also a chilling account of how collective courage of ordinarycitizens overcomes the dastardly behaviour of bureaucrats sitting in high offices in Moscow. The denials, botched cover-ups and overall failure of the governance structure make it utterly painful and gut-wrenching.
The show conveys that although the era may have bygone, the bureaucratic stinks still exists, irrespective of the countries that we live in. The leaders may have changed but we are still loyal to an ideology altogether, subservient and ready to sacrifice whenever the moment arrives.
Should I be watching it?
Post Game of Thrones’ rather underwhelming finale season, binge-watching fans have been craving for something good to make up for it. Combine HBO’s superior production quality with the untold story of one the biggest tragedy of the world, and you have a winner for sure in ‘Chernobyl’.
Don’t believe us? Then check out the IMDb page of the series. ‘Chernobyl’ is THE highest rated TV shows of all times, beating the likes of ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘The Wire’, ‘The Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Sopranos’.
In India, the show is being streamed on Hotstar (on premium subscription only). You can watch the show here.
So, what are you waiting for? Block your calendar this weekend and enjoy the show. Happy viewing!