Hulu’s Normal People is a raw and intimate look at young, complicated love, anchored by two jaw-dropping and vulnerable performances by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mascel. So, if it wasn’t your binge of lockdown 2020, why should you still watch it now?
The strength of this adaptation undoubtedly lies in its two lead performances from Daisy Edgar-Jones (Marianne) and Paul Mescal (Connell). The two had an incredible on screen chemistry that I can honestly say have never seen on screen.
I didn’t cry when I finished the book and when talking to friends I didn’t think twice about labeling it a ‘heartbreaking’ read, as some have (am I heartless???), but seeing Connell and Marianne’s every emotion rendered visually brought it home in a way that felt completely new and raw to me. And yes, the ending had me sobbing.
It’s So… Normal?
Daisy and Paul are electric together as their palpable chemistry enchants and amazes the senses- youre welcomed aboard which is, cheesy enough, an actual emotional rollercoaster. Its frustrating, but a part of the appeal as a series of a reflection of real life.
The sex scenes have been labelled somewhat controversial, but it all adds beautifully to its authenticity. Through the pain, the insecurity and happiness, theres one thing that will matter of factly place this series above all others, its amazingly human.
Bought to life beautifully
For those who read the book, you’ll know the series sticks very close to the novel, in dialogue and scene. But the story is really bought to life and brings out the rawest of emotion with body.
Theres several scenes that are simply beautiful in the series, and one moment in particular between Connell and Marianne in the last scene. We’re shown in a moment that they’re two people who are forever bonded to each other by a shared history, with the two of them sitting on the floor with their knees up and their heads bent toward one another, the outline of their bodies comes very close to forming the shape of a perfect heart.
Honest Portayal of Mens Mental Health
Mescals vulnerable portrayal of Connells mental illness is relayed to us unflinchingly in one episode, the camera focusing on him in a one shot, 6 minute portrayal of raw emotion.
The book details this conversation in detail, but seeing it brought to life with the honest emotion brought the realness to life. With men more likely to suffer in silence when it comes to mental health, this scene largely helps normalise speaking to others and seeking help. Making this not only an entertaining watch, but an insightful one too.
I implore everyone to watch this beautiful, authentic and heartwrenching series. You dont have to have read the book to get the most out of it but if you did read the Sally Rooney novel, you won’t find yourself disappointed with the screen adaptation one bit.
You can find all 12 episodes of Normal People on BBC 3 and Hulu now.