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Chances are you’ve already, at the very least, heard of director/writer/Bond-helmer incumbent Cary Joji Fukunaga’s just about to drop Netflix series Manic by now.

Image: Netflix.

Fukunaga makes interesting, widely varying, if somewhat unusual, projects. His debut feature was a devastating Spanish-language film, Sin Nombre — without name, in Spanish — that tells the starkly human story of immigration that throbs on behind the headlines.

His second was an adaption of Jane Eyre, which he followed up with the now-infamous first series of True Detective, and then in 2015, his third feature film Beasts of No Nation was released by Netflix in theatres and on the streaming service simultaneously. 

Image: Netflix.

Beasts of No Nation, which stars Idris Elba and features a remarkable performance by newcomer Abraham Attah, was a strikingly shot, but deeply unsettling film that was written (adapted from the 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iwela), co-produced and directed by Fukunaga himself, who also acted as his own cinematographer.

It’s Fukunaga’s acute attention to detail that makes his projects so captivating to watch, and it’s that quality, as well as his propensity for exploring stories less usual, that has people so excited to see what he makes of Manic.

What we know of the mostly-a-mystery project is that it takes its inspiration (but apparently little else) from a Norwegian series of the same name, that it stars Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, and Sally Field, that the trailer sets the scene for a somewhat psychedelic, technicolour wonderland — in the “down the rabbit hole” sense — and that early reviews of the series have been quite divisive. 

Or, to put it more succinctly, the whole thing makes for a bit of a mindfuck, as one reviewer described it.

Image: Netflix.
The limited series is also a mini — it’s only ten episodes, with each ranging in runtime anywhere from almost fifty minutes to not-quite thirty. 

Fukunaga hasn’t made a habit of disappointing, and even if you don’t come away loving what he’s put together in any given project, you’re all but guaranteed to enjoy looking at it. He’s made a career of taking calculated risks, of trying daring new things — something sorely lacking in the moneyed pockets of the entertainment industry at large, these days — and so, if you’re going to take a chance on something a little bit different for your weekend binge, Manic is probably a good way to go.


Manic is streaming now, on Netflix. 
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