Thursday, 19 July 2012

Electric City (2012) Review by Shivom Oza – Eclectic Episodes In An Intriguing Web Series

3/5 Stars

‘Electric City’ is a web-series comprising 20 web episodes adding up to 90 minutes, is set in a dystopian future. Dystopian civilization, where the electricity and communication is controlled by the law-enforcement, is on the brink of revolt from its citizens.

Planet Earth has become a dangerous place after an innocuous doomsday-like event. The principal character Cleveland Carr (Tom Hanks), a former police officer, is handed over the reins of maintaining law and order in the chaotic city. Electric City has become a symbol of peace and security. However, the security comes at a premium. The AMP, a security force that looks after the city, keeps a tight vigil over two of the most significant resources of the land, electricity and wireless communication. The population is showing signs or discomfort over the rule, and a revolution is in store.

The series is nuanced and well-developed. It is filled with questions about the choices we make. It also questions whether people would give up the need to sustain resources in order to break free from the shackles of the law enforcers. The Electric City is full of shades of grey. Its people are neither white nor black. They are controlled by a body that requires applications to allow childbirth. Even energy consumption is closely scrutinized. Resistance movements attempt to illegally tap into the main system and even begin creating something like wireless. 

Tom Hanks serves not only as the creative force behind the scenes of the dystopian series, but also lends his voice to its lead character, Cleveland Carr.

‘Electric City’ inculcates a map to show where each mini story takes place, quite similar to the opening sequence of ‘Game of Thrones’. It is indeed a very interesting concept, besides being dark in character.

The stories in each episode move at such a brisk pace that it is difficult for the viewer to keep track of the proceedings. Same holds true for the characters, having to brush through 20 episodes, with no supporting character being present on the trot successively.

‘Electric City’ is an intriguing concept. Heartening to see the old-school hand-drawn animation after such a long time! As for the story, one would have to pay close attention at the proceedings to not lost track.

The series is releasing in India on Bigflix (Reliance Entertainment).  Adapting ‘Video-on-demand’ facility may bode well for this unique web series. Its noir content renders it as a must-watch for avid watchers of the genre.

Shivom Oza

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