Amazon Prime Video is in its most prolific month so far this year. At the end of April it will release Citadel, the second most expensive series in history after The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. And this week sees the premiere of Dead Ringers, a miniseries that looks to be one of the craziest offerings of the season.
Dead Ringers is based on an original 1988 film starring Jeremy Irons in which two identical twins who operate together replace each other in everyday life to help each other. It is a cult film with several plot twists and, as usual with Cronenberg, lots of blood and gore.
But what is this new version of the story like? And more importantly, is this Amazon Prime Video miniseries worth it? We have already seen it and we can conclude that it is. Despite some issues that could have been improved, we think it’s a perfect plan for the weekend.
Between elegance and gore
Dead Ringers stars the Mantle Sisters, Eliott and Beverly Mantle, twins who work as expert female fertility surgeons. Both work in a clinic specializing in the field, and they are the best at what they do. People come from all over the world to the clinic for appointments, and they help families have children.
However, they both have a strange and worrying relationship of dependency. When one leaves her comfort zone, the other comes to replace her, and vice versa, and they don’t seem to have any kind of escape. This leads them to live in harmony, but in absolute need of each other for peace of mind.
Fiction implodes through a debate that could be perfectly transferable to our reality: the sisters want to pioneer a medical study that crosses the line of morality and legality, but whose result can cause the fertility process of women to improve exponentially.
Gradually, all the issues that converge around these debates – the financing of medicine in a capitalist system, uncontrolled experimentation, the limits of the human being when it comes to playing god – implode and give rise to both plot and psychic madness on the part of the twins.
The series is unafraid to play with gore and body horror, showing all sorts of uncensored imagery that would delight Cronenberg himself. However, instead of taking the path of the original film, it opts for a more subtle style and a deeper debate that, rather than simply generating emotions, gives the audience food for thought.
Rachel Weisz is unique as the twins in the lead role.
The most impressive thing about the series is undoubtedly Rachel Weisz’s performance as the two very different and equal sisters she plays in the Amazon Prime Video miniseries. This earned Weisz a standing ovation from Cannes’ Lumière Auditorium at the fiction showcase. And it also makes it clear that this is not a series to use, but that it seeks to go beyond what we are used to in interpretation.
Moreover, she is not alone in this fiction. Along with Weisz, she is accompanied by Tia Barr, Jennifer Ehle, Emily Meade, Britne Oldford, Michael Chernus, Poppy Liu, Christina Brucato or Jeremy Shamos, completing a cast worthy of a studio movie.
Without a doubt, Prime knows what it is doing and has put the focus on quality, beyond big budgets, in order to cajole audiences. There is no doubt that Dead Ringers will be highly valued by television awards, and may also become a big hit with audiences.
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