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Devs Review | Non-Spoiler | Alex Garland Sci-Fi Series 2020

Dev's is Alex Garland's response to the Free Will debate.


As with any Alex Garland production, prepare your brain for some deeply profound intellectual ideas, which in Dev's case, focuses on themes of determination and exploration of free will. Did I lose you yet?


After the mysteriously unusual death of her boyfriend, first day on the job, Dev's follows Lily, as she explores the true nature of the giant tech company. With themes of loss, grief, governmental control and technology, the mini-series poses millions of controlled questions leading you to the final debate of do we, in fact, have free will?

Alex Garland has proven to be a force in modern sci-fi and writing. Every sentence, word, and thought has been deeply analyzed and placed strategically throughout his work. He presents a buffet of deep intellectual ideas for your brain, that's sometimes overwhelming and difficult to choose what to lean to first. In a simpiler explanation, his work can be mind-blowing and lead you down a spiralling rabbit hole of thought.


The answers to the questions posed are brought fourth quite early in the series, where more time is spent in the contemplation of what the answers actually mean.


Dev's keeps the audience curious.

There is a well-paced, slow-burn momentum that for anyone familiar with Garland's work is a custom to. It's understated in the most thrilling way.


It's evident that the series deeply favours aesthetics...maybe even more than the overall plot clarity or characters.


However, the imagery is quite stunning in a typical sleek, techy, Garland way. Large imposing trees with neon LED halo rings, empty rooms with warm circular pulsating lights and a giant statue of a little girl... yea that one is a bit weird I'll give you that.


Devs has an ambitiously modern sci-fi look for a television series and coming from mainly working in a film medium, it's clearly evident that Garlands cinematic standards have remained the same, but honestly, I'm a sucker for aesthetics and this show delivers.


You have to be all in.

It's easy to give up on this series due to the favouritism of plot over characters but it's worth it. You have to be one hundred percent open and acceptable to the world that has been created to get the most out of the series.


The cast is extremely refreshing for a sci-fi series. Nick Offerman and Alsion Pill, delivers great dramatic performances something polar opposite than their typically associated comedy work. Also a great leading role for Sonya Mizuno, previously recognizable from Garland's film ExMachina.


As a fan of his work in 2007's Sunshine, I was pleasantly thrilled to see the impressions and references throughout the series. From colour pallet, set design and neon quotes hanging in the interior office sets, I loved the hidden easter eggs and references. Notably, there are a few more from ExMachina and Annihailion, Dev's seemed like a compilation of his previous work. You can check out my love letter to Sunshine (here)


Overall, Devs is an excellent slow burn and thought-provoking modern sci-fi mini-series. It requires patience and an empty mind to thoroughly enjoy. In the long run, the series won't disappoint, and worth the watch. The striking visuals alone are a key highlight followed with the metaphorical significance to the themes and questions raised.


3.9/5


 

Have you seen Alex Garland's previous film Sunshine? Click (here) for my previous post


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