The collaboration between Sky and HBO it is truly leading to happy results. It would be enough to orientate between our review of Chernobyl, the first of the series, and the review of We Are Who Are, the last in order of release, to realize the diversification operated by the two giants in terms of thematic and stylistic. All of this brings great prestige to the so-called “Sky Originals” proposal, which enrich the offer for subscribers from month to month, who can also enjoy the best products via streaming, through the NOW TV platform.
The Sky news of October push us to get to know the latest SKY / HBO co-production to make its entry into the schedule. We are talking about The Third Day, a mistery drama in six episodes that has more than one reason to be seen and experienced. In fact, we can be sure that we will not be faced with any narrative, both from the point of view of the script and that of the direction.
On these fronts we have the guarantee of Dennis Kelly and Marc Munden, respectively creator / writer and director of the original version of Utopia, the cult series of 2013, whose remake is currently available on Prime Video (in this regard, we invite you to read our first impressions of Utopia). Already with these assumptions The Third Day it promises an intriguing miniseries, but let’s try to go into more detail, after having seen the first two episodes in preview, in view of the airing of October 19 at 21:15 on Sky Atlantic and streaming on NOW TV.
Summer and winter
Another reason not to miss The Third Day it certainly is the return of Jude Law in a Sky / HBO co-production after the success of The Young Pope and of The New Pope by Paolo Sorrentino, here flanked by Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Moonlight). In spite of themselves, both will have to deal with the mysteries of Hosea, the mysterious island on which they will find themselves at different times and for different reasons, where the boundaries between reality and fantasy will become increasingly blurred. This actually makes it The Third Day a two-part miniseries, consisting of three episodes each. In the first, entitled “Estate“, Sam (Jude Law), after accidentally rescuing a teenager in a forest, ends up taking her back home, but will find himself crossing the borders of the island, whose access depends on the constant ebb and flow of the tides. .
There Sam will be immersed in a climate different from the one it comes from, fascinated and rejected at the same time by that population and by those traditions that blend Christianity and Celtic cults, in which he will find himself having to deal with a heavy trauma of the past. In the second part, “Winter“, Helen (Naomie Harris) will arrive on vacation on the island with her two daughters, inexplicably drawn to that mysterious place, which will trap her in its surreal flow of events.
The episodes that we have had the opportunity to view both refer to the first part of the miniseries and, therefore, to the events relating to the character of Jude Law, perfectly placed in the role of Sam and master of the scene and the character. Not having in mind the complete picture of her history on the island, we do not yet know if and how her narrative will embrace that of Helen, although we know that both events will still be somehow intertwined.
Welcome to Osea Island
The most interesting aspect of these early episodes of The Third Day is exactly the progressive unveiling of the setting; a discovery in which we are involved at the same time as Sam, although from the very beginning it is evident that ours and the island have a much more rooted relationship, the origin of which could be founded in the history of the place itself.
Hosea Island is in fact one of the protagonists of the story and it is precisely in these cases that one realizes how important it is to bring the world of narration to life through a detailed world building within which to place one’s protagonists. When we refer to isolated communities, anchored to ancient cults or traditions, one cannot help but suffer from their exotic charm.
Without for now reaching the extremes of Midsommar, the apparently normal population of Hosea hides in their history and traditions – a Crasis-Celtic crasis – a note of uncanny that constantly leaves us at attention and curious to scratch the surface, to probe how much of this community is hidden beneath it and how much issues such as immigration, justice and the relationship with the modern world are connected to it.
On the technical front we can only rejoice in the aforementioned presence of Marc Mullen as director, which he gives us alienating compositions, which play as usual on focal lengths, with a declared love for the wide angle and a predilection in certain situations for the hand-held camera. The color palette is also meticulously studied and this is not surprising given the painstaking post-production work performed on Utopia to revive the pastel atmospheres of the Technicolor era.
In this case Mullen plays with contrasts, with the presence and absence of color and more generally on the saturation of the green palette. On a visual level, the symbolic and symbolist aspect of the series assumes great importance, thus pouring from the page to the screen. The level of staging achieved in the second episode is commendable, in which – without spoiling anything – we will witness a diegetically alienating scene, which photography and directing enthusiasts can only look at with interest and condescension.