Rating: 5 out of 10
Drama series The Flock to premiere on streaming servicemore.tv September 9, 2022. Director: Mark Gorobets. Cast: Agata Mutsunietse, Pavel Tabakov, Makar Zaporozhsky, Alexander Robak, Anastasia Krasovskaya, Elshan Aleskerov and others.
Awarded for Original Screenplay at Russia’s first festival of streaming services Originals+, eight-episode teen drama “Room” from producer Fyodor Bondarchuk and the platform that gave us “Chick”, “The Chicks”, “Psycho” and “Happy End”, it seems original in the very least. Firstly, the series continues the tendency of the more.tv service to adapt foreign products to the realities of our country. First “Your Honor” (a remake of either the Israeli original, or the recently released American remake on Showtime with Bryan Cranston), then “Home Field” (a reimagining of the Norwegian series) and then “The Flock”, whose script was originally based on a German-made show . Specifically – from the little-known even in the homeland of the series “Wild Republic”, where the scene was the Alps, which turned into the graceful mountains of the North Caucasus (they were filmed in Dagestan, North Ossetia and the Krasnodar Territory).
Secondly, even taking into account the authors’ statements that, as they say, in the course of work on the script, the series began to look less and less like the original source, growing with details and nuances of a purely Russian persuasion, the archaic dramaturgical constructions of the creation of the serial artisan Mark Gorobets still very irritating to the eyes.
The plot here revolves around a group of deviant delinquent teenagers who are sent under the supervision of social worker-psychologist Rita (Agata Muceniece) on a trip to the Caucasus Mountains, where it is already dangerous, and here everyone’s hormones are raging, and animal instincts are awakening. The situation becomes so tense that as a result, after the first night, the corpse of one of the Georgian guards is discovered. The concept of the classic whodunnut beats against the rocks of a hackneyed narrative style that has become obsolete in The Call Center, The Survival Game, The 100 and other similar shows where the characters are placed in an extreme situation, and from series to series each of them through flashbacks, he tells his heartbreaking story about how he came to such a life. A concept like this only worked to its full potential once, when there was a small TV revolution called “Lost”.
The Pack, formerly known as A New Life, in the first episode leans somewhere in the direction of Monkeys, a Colombian film about wild teenagers in the mountains. But there is not even a distinctive camera work here to sit out at least an hour of this unbearable drama, consisting entirely of cringe dialogues, artificially forced, poignant drama, off-scale levels of vulgarity, cheap melodrama, tasteless provocations and pitiful attempts to hang the viewer on emotional strings, for which the creators will twitch until The Flock is called our answer to the Squid Game.
None of the characters are catchy (and among teenagers there are many famous faces running around – Pavel Tabakovwho earned a credit of trust from the viewer after the successful “Young Man”, Anastasia Krasovskaya with the Best Actress Award at last year’s Locarno Film Festival and Elshan Aleskerov from another youth hit “UZZZ”). None of the dramatic levers work. Not a single artistic decision inspires. If you watch this series, then only for the sake of the mountains. After all, as it was sung in the song, only mountains can be better than mountains.
Vadim Bogdanov, InterMedia
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