Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Critique of “The Last of Us”: HBO masterfully adapts one of video game’s best and most heartbreaking stories

Heartbreaking, brutal, emotional, and the best television/movie adaptation of a video game ever. With 9 chapters, “The Last of Us”, the new and ambitious HBO series, is already on track to be one of the best drama series of 2023. That has changed after the apocalypse.

The HBO series stands on its own and does so because it has the highest level of production and because it knows how to honor a product that was already excellent in its original medium. The work for television almost dares to mimic certain scenes and moments of video games on the same level that already worked in that medium as they were elevated as spectacular cinematographic sequences. But, apart from that, he dares to be brave enough to explore certain angles and stories and create his own collection of human stories. Although it is true that the series spends more time on the origin of the disease than in the video games, something that does not seem fundamental.

The first episode is an example of mastery. a beginner who knows how to use rhythm growing up To create a tense calm and to present the threat that looms over the world to then brutally and openly, show the terrifying and dangerous nature of said threat. All this while weaving the relationships between his characters which are the center and soul of the work.

“The Last of Us” tells a sobering story about what it means to survive in a doomed world. A parasitic virus of fungal origin that turns people infected — like zombies — has devastated the whole world. 20 years after the outbreak, its protagonists, a smuggler, Joel (Pedro Pascal), and a teenager, Ellie (Bella Ramsay), begin a journey across the United States.

What separates “The Last of Us” from other works of the zombie genre is its focus on human drama and polyhedral characters that have successes and flaws and evolve into plot. In a hostile and violent world plagued by infected and paramilitary organizations where resources are scarce, survival is a priority. It brings out the wild side of humans but also the desire not to be alone. To live in company and community. To love and feel loved.

It’s these feelings that drive a good portion of the characters’ actions in “The Last of Us” and that create some of the series’ best moments. Moments, I have already mentioned, heartbreaking that make the blood run cold because of the emotional charge and the beauty that they have managed to create before. Joel, Sarah, Ellie, Tess, Marlene, Bill, Frank, Henry, Sam, Riley… they all have their moments to shine.

And if the plot works, it is mainly because of the fine performances by the cast, especially its protagonists. Pedro Pascal plays Joel remarkably well, but if anyone steals the show it’s Bella Ramsay for her role as Ellie. The actress brings to life a well-written and directed character with solid concerns and understandable desires. Ellie, played by Ashley Johnson in the video game, was already a benchmark in the medium. Bella Ramsay’s Ellie is going the same way for television.

With its first season, HBO has shown that it knows how to exceed expectations and create yet another compelling contextual narrative on television. A production that shines because it delves into the human drama and not so much into the infected/zombies. If the series continues to adapt with future seasons, which the video game has introduced in its ambitious second installment, it has a promising future thanks to the real boost that this part brought its characters.

Already in 2023 is one of the candidates for the best dramatic series of the year and the film and television industry, an example of royally adapting one of the hundreds of great stories that exist in video games.

“The Last of Us” premieres January 15 on HBO Max. It is part of Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of CNN.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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