Normal People: The Masterpiece That Defined Quarantine
The Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney's 2018 novel Normal People will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest pieces of modern television. Readers of the novel will recognise just how precisely the directors transitioned every scene from the book and added immense depth to the pre-existing storyline. New viewers will find themselves in awe of every aspect of the series, starting from the ground-breaking acting that defines the series to the development of the storyline.
Played by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, Normal People follows Marianne and Connell as they transition from high school to college, grow up, and navigate their relationship, whether it be one defined by romance or just friendship. The chemistry between the actors is electric - it is beautiful, passionate, palpable, marvellous, and makes you truly feel; it will leave you clutching your heart out of both pleasure and pain. "It's not like this with other people," Marianne tells Connell. "Yeah," he agrees.
Rooney's extraordinary writing captures every aspect of first love; it is no wonder that many have labelled her one of the greatest millennial writers. On top of Rooney's genius, the cinematography, soundtrack, directing, and acting delivered a show that is so profound that critics will talk about it for decades to come. "We were given such great writing, I really felt like there was an opportunity to show something that was really truthful and accurate," Mescal says in an interview with ET Canada.
Quite simply stated, Normal People depicts the tale of two people falling in love, but when you probe further, you find there is so much more to the story. It's a story about first love but also one about heartbreak and pain. It's a story about being there for each other, even when you're far away. But perhaps, most importantly, it's a story about growing up. It's one that focuses almost exclusively on the journey of two people in love and their relationship throughout the years: how it grows, how it falls apart, how it shapes them, and how it doesn't.
"When they're together, they're just happy," Mescal said. "It's deeply frustrating when they're not together." He's completely right. When they're apart, it makes you want to tear your hair out and scream into the void. But the time apart almost seems worth it when they come back to each other.
Unlike many other novel adaptations, this is one that stayed true to almost every aspect of the book. Regardless of whether you are delving into the story through a paperback or through the big screen, Normal People is bound to overwhelm you with feelings. The impact it will leave on you is so powerful that you will grapple with it for weeks. It's brilliant, beautiful, earth-shattering, ground-breaking, riveting, passionate, immaculate, staggering and it will most certainly leave you begging for more.