This was a few weeks back. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I stumbled across the trailer of Netflix’s new – The End of the F***ing World. It was to be based on the comic series The End of the Fucking World by Charles S. Forsman. The premise was definitely interesting. I previously saw Alex Lawther in The Imitation Game and Black Mirror’s Shut up and Dance. I was intrigued by his innocent looks and praise-worthy acting sense.
The series revolves around the roller-coaster life of James (Alex Lawther), a 17-year-old who believes himself to be a psychopathic, sociopathic teenager and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), a wayward classmate who sees in James a chance to escape from the boring city they live in.
The End of the F***ing World is a story of adolescent confusion and dark fantasies.
James is a wannabe serial killer. Actually, he is just a troubled kid trying to cope with pain in his own way. Alyssa seems an arrogant disruptive kid at first, but as the story progresses, we find that she is a child acting out to get the attention she actually needs.
James and Alyssa could easily have been shown to be extremely irritating but Lawther and Barden are so engaging that their dysfunctional love story carries a surprising amount of emotional weight.
Alert!: There may be slight spoilers henceforth.
In the initial episodes, the story focuses on James and Alyssa’s attempt to break-free of the society’s rules. They steal the car that belongs to James’s dad and go on a road trip, with no plans to ever come back. Enroute, Alyssa refuses to buckle up. “Fuck seat belts,” she says, as if this bespeaks the depth of her anti-establishment streak. More disturbingly, James, who plans to murder Alyssa at some point during their journey, thinks to himself: “I wonder what she would sound like when I kill her.”
The transition from being a rebellious story to a teenage romance-cum-crime thriller is absolutely marvellous. Although having predictive twists, the plot is carried around beautifully with equally good background music.
The most talked about topic of course, is the ending. We see James on the run and cops shooting from behind. The bullets come close but James gets lucky each time, till we hear the last shot and the screen goes black. There can be multiple explanations, with optimists suggesting that James just might have escaped. Well, one can only know for sure when Season 2 comes out, if it is going to.
With powerful performances from Gemma Whelan and Wunmi Mosaku, and good support from Steve Oram, Christine Bottomley, Navin Chowdhry and Barry Ward, this is a must watch.
Sohan is a passionate lover of sleep. He plans his battle strategies with Darth Vader, the Night King and Voldemort. Although when awake, Sohan binge-watches a plethora of TV series and Movies; and dives into the books he cherishes.