By Megan G. Razzetti
Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” comes to life in a riveting Hulu original series and brings eerie parallels to social issues that are present in today’s world.
The premiere on April 26 opened with its first three episodes of the series and provides a terrifying look into a dystopian, non-secular, authoritarian regime that prohibits women from everything including reading.
Each episode is an hour long, yet moves so quickly and are packed with the brutal execution of the twisted story of Offred, played by Elizabeth Moss.
Offred, is assigned as a Handmaid in which is her sole purpose is to breed the children of the elite few who are barren. As a part of this process, she is subjected to systematic rape and abuse from the couple she is assigned to.
Throughout the show, the viewer is in the head of Offred, where her innermost thought and memories are played out while she puts on the persona of a chaste and obedient servant. In Offred’s memories, her past life is slowly drawn out and pieces of the mysterious puzzle of the dystopian world of Gilead, come together.
A lot of Offred’s memories are of her family and the events leading to where she is in the world. They show the beginning of a severe decline in birth rates and fertility issues among the population which is referred to as The Plague of Infertility brought on by God as punishment for dating apps, birth control and abortions.
This somewhat reflects on the current state of health care issues in the United States such as the ongoing fight for an abortion rights in several states.
Moss does an incredible job portraying Offred as obedient, yet it is her silent rage and rebellious nature that stand out in their own subtle ways.
Her anger also demonstrates that Offered hasn’t given up on herself and that she hasn’t been totally crushed down by the reality she is living in.
The roles of each member of society are set in stone but are on unclear how they were assigned or how the conservative regime gained its power. They are vaguely mentioned in the few episodes out but do not state why someone is deemed elite or a Martha, which is a woman who is assigned a position in domestic work.
The incorporation of characters such as Moira who embodies female resourcefulness and independence and is also Offred’s best friend from college, also allows insight on others members of the non elite.
Moira’s character is so relatable especially for women who are heavily involved in activism and are outspoken about issues they are passionate about.
Each scene of the episodes released, plays out like a horror movie. It is unforgiving in the portrayal of the consequences those that have been deemed traitors to society.
Throughout the show, criminals are classified based on sexual identity or their jobs. As Offred walks past the hanging bodies, it shows a priest and a gay man, each wearing a hood with a symbol of what crimes they committed.
This is only a small reminder of the constant violence that occurs in Gilead and what the future may bring to Offred if she disobeys.
The soundtrack to the show brings the viewer back from this dark journey of Offred’s tale with songs by Blondie, Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Monkees and Peaches.
The incorporation of music within the show is an incredible symbol of freedom and empowerment especially after the first episode when Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” which is a song about resistance.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” is a terrifying series that will only leave viewers stunned as each episode unfolds. It is now streaming on Hulu with new episodes added each Wednesday