THE WHITE LOTUS, hell is other people

Under his heavenly and innocent airs flirting with the atmosphere of a soap opera, THE WHITE LOTUS offers us the most fascinating series of the summer with an enigmatic atmosphere much more satirical than it seems.

Appeared discreetly on the screens in the middle of July, THE WHITE LOTUS quickly found its place in the ranking of the most watched series in France in recent days. With its idyllic Hawaiian hotel setting, miserable patrons, and air of mystery, the director’s series Mike white plays on contrasts by placing his odious characters in a heavenly setting. As we say Telerama, THE WHITE LOTUS, it’s “ disembark in a tropical paradise and see only a glimpse of hell ”. The tone is therefore quickly set as the series opens with an unambiguous scene as the viewer watches a newlywed answer questions about his vacation in the departure lounge of an airport while a cargo labeled ” human remains Is loaded on their flight. However, the series cannot be reduced to a story of murder as it offers an acidic look at class relations, privileges and colonialism.

To bring his story to life, Mike white surrounded himself with a five-star cast. Among the wealthy vacationers, Jake Lacy (Girls) and Alexandra Daddario (True Detective, Why Women Kill) play a newlywed couple who come to spend their honeymoon on the island. Unfortunately, their tranquility is disturbed by a family made up of Steven Zahn and of Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights, Nashville) as well as their two children Fred Hechinger and Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria). The latter is also accompanied by her friend Paula, embodied by Brittany O’Grady. Finally, the incredible Jennifer coolidge (American Pie, Revenge of a Blonde) brilliantly embodies a neurotic heiress since the death of her mother. All these little people are warmly welcomed by Murray Bartlett (Sex and the City) who plays the role of Armond, the hotel manager, and Natasha Rothwell who takes care of the spa.

svg%3E - THE WHITE LOTUS, hell is other people
Credit: Home Box Office, Inc. / HBO

All of these characters are ambivalent and complex: neither entirely hateful, nor really likable. But what is certain is that neither of them is able to enjoy their heavenly stay and that each interaction is an exchange of power. Even when people do their best to use their privileges in a benevolent way, things go wrong. THE WHITE LOTUS is thus part of a new tradition of series about rich characters who only enjoy their privileges (with Succession at the top of the list). All of these vacationers would rather be miserable than lose what was given to them as Mark rightly puts it (Steven Zahn) during a rather tense dinner: “No one gives up a privilege. It’s absurd. It goes against human nature. ” The absurdity of this state of mind reaches its peak during the numerous exchanges between Armond (Murray Bartlett) and Shane (Jake Lacy), especially when the first proposes to the second ” a second toilet in his suite “. As the analysis Norine Raja for Vanity Fair : “Mike White unraveled the relationship with the world of his characters, white and rich, and their tendency to move as if everything belonged to them. “ Thus, Hawaii very quickly becomes the synonym of chaotic vacations.

These tourists seem so used to hoarding things that sacrificing anything is more insurmountable than the misfortune itself. As one of the characters puts it towards the end of the series: “We’re all just parasites eating the last fish and throwing our plastic poop in the ocean. This sentence is then heavy with meaning since THE WHITE LOTUS takes pleasure in showing the collision between the classes and the glaring inequity between the characters. Also, never the vacationers that we discover to be linked to ” remains human Will not be questioned. And it strangely echoes Lani’s disappearances (Jolene Purdy) and Kai (Kekoa Kekumano) who were, however, in all likelihood in difficulty. The magazine Vanity Fair thus speaks of ” push towards poverty [et] incarceration “Before adding” Has the series always been about colonialism? Not just in the larger context of Hawaii and what has been done to it by white America, but a true allegory of the mechanics of imperialism: arrival, decimation, reckless abandonment? Tourists are thus compared to settlers who come to destroy the lives of hotel employees. With hindsight, it is also difficult not to think of the many innuendos uttered by Paula, played by the promising Brittany O’Grady, on this subject.

svg%3E - THE WHITE LOTUS, hell is other people
Credit: Home Box Office, Inc. / HBO

Immediately, therefore, one can only think of Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) which is literally worn down by the emotional needs of the wealthy women who walk through the front door of her spa. Watching the vacationers follow one another in front of her, it is difficult not to think of the trope of ” magical nigga When a black character helps and enlightens a white character with nothing in return. Likewise, Paula is already exhausted and disillusioned by those around her especially after the theft incident when she replies to Olivia that ” something bad happened Without the latter understanding. Thus, as the episodes progressed, despite a highly comical and satirical atmosphere, the series THE WHITE LOTUS becomes more and more suffocating. Mike White takes an interest in all stories – and their inequalities – and the tension builds as the characters continue to evolve in isolation.

With his air of soap opera summer, THE WHITE LOTUS offers viewers a simple plot that reveals a scathing commentary on privilege, class relations, and inequality. With its moments of embarrassment, its bloody humor and its signature anxiety-inducing music Cristobal Tapia by Veer, the series is all the more biting and addictive, for our greatest pleasure.

Sarah cerange

svg%3E - THE WHITE LOTUS, hell is other people

Original title : The White Lotus
Production : Mike white
Actors: Murray Bartlett, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Fred Hechinger, Sydney Sweeney, Steven Zahn, Jake Lacy, Brittany O’Grady, Natasha Rothwell
Release date : July 11, 2021
Duration : 6×55 minutes

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