Unorthodox - a highly orthodox Doll House in New York FeaturedWritten by Karl Erik Sylthe
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The captivating Netflix miniseries from New York City and Berlin tell a modern version of Ibsen's dollhouse. Except that it takes over where Ibsen ends up with a bang. And then the action is in another time and place.
The action in this four-episode miniseries is basically in an orthodox Jewish environment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn - NYC. An arranged marriage ordained by a classic jewish matchmaker turns out not to be as successful as the close family had hopes for. And in those circles, the value of a marriage is measured by the number of children. Or lack of the same.
Gradually, the unfulfilled expectations prevail for 19-year-old Esty, and she collects some papers that say she is eligible to apply for German citizenship. She escapes to Berlin, where in her restrained shade she still quickly stumbles across a group of friends in the music community who aspire to a career in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
With the Orthodox husband and his cousin looking for Esty, we get involved in a drama that is surprisingly engaging. Surprising - because this drama is really low-key, despite a cousin who is energetic enough in his hunt. But this is more about involvement and dedication thanstunning action, and the series offers many credible and well-nuanced role characters and associated actors.
I had an expectation that it might be a challenge to see this series completed, but that expectation was far from fulfilled. Four episodes were swallowed surprisingly quickly, and even left a question or two. And a few surprising twists in the last episode reinforce the experience of a well-composed series of good street scenes from Brooklyn and Berlin, even though Esty is nowhere near as exuberant and outraging as Nora was in Lise Fjeldstad's incarnation.
Karl Erik Sylthe
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