The Underground Railroad on Prime Video: why the press is conquered by Barry Jenkins’ series?

Barry Jenkins tackles the thorny subject of slavery in The Underground Railroad. So, has it been a successful bet for the Oscar-winning director?

What is it about ?

Cora Randall, a young slave who conquered her freedom in the southern United States before the Civil War. After escaping from a plantation in Georgia, Cora discovers the existence of the legendary “Underground Railroad”, a very real secret underground network filled with railroads and tunnels created by engineers.

The Underground Railroad, by Barry Jenkins, with Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon, William Jackson Harper

Available on Amazon Prime Video since May 14.

What the press thinks …

According to Le Parisien

As for Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins accompanies his remarks with a very stylized realization, between play of light, assumed darkness and slowed down. The beauty of the shots on the cotton fields contrasts with the harshness of the story. And as if to capture the viewer even more, the actors sometimes stare at the camera in disturbing still shots. A series of sometimes unbearable violence, but fascinating and monumental. 4.5 / 5

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According to Télérama

Director Barry Jenkins adapts Colson Whitehead’s phenomenal novel in ten breathtaking episodes. A mythological adventure in the footsteps of a runaway slave, between gravity and poetic power. 4.5 / 5

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According to Large Screen

Behind its garb of a grandiose historical fresco, The Underground Railroad is above all a fascinating series on the ghosts of America. With its perfect actors and sublime photography, Barry Jenkins’ series affirms more than ever the stylistic force of an author in a state of grace. 4.5 / 5

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According to Le Figaro

Fiction, Barry Jenkins’ first series, is unparalleled in power. But by its very concept, very real in that it materializes the mythical train of freedom, a set of clandestine routes that allowed fleeing slaves, helped by the abolitionists, to return to Canada. As well as by its staging, transcendent, epic, sublime. 4/5

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According to TV 7 days

Bringing Colson Whitehead’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize bestseller to the screen: the gamble was daring. In a masterful staging, the director of Moonlight films all the horror of slavery and its reminiscences. A poignant emancipation fresco, between raw reality and fantasy. 4/5

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According to Le Nouvel Obs

The result is a half-impressionist, half-epic fresco, where the crudest reality, violence and abomination structure the interior odyssey of heroes who, tossed about, mistreated, tortured, build themselves and assert themselves against the rest of the world. world. Here is an indispensable work, politically sharp, suffused with a powerful lyricism and a touch of magical realism (it is not forbidden to think of the universe of Gabriel García Márquez) which will haunt your consciousness as a spectator for a long time. 4/5

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According to Le Point

Thus, by its visual richness and its subtlety of gaze, the Underground Railroad series gradually takes on a dimension comparable to that of Colson Whitehead’s novel. To the point of entering the very closed club of fully successful literary adaptations. 4/5

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According to Paris Match

The Underground Railroad takes shape, like the mural seen in one of the stations that its heroine crosses, like an ultramodern fresco. A poignant odyssey, masterfully conducted. Without a doubt the most important series of 2021. 4/5

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According to Le Monde

It is only by listing these avatars that we realize the risk Barry Jenkins ran: that of transforming this epic into a didactic analysis. But, seeing Underground Railroad, you never think about it, so much the characters are embodied, so much Jenkins and his collaborators – the cinematographer, James Laxton, the composer Nicholas Britell – never sacrifice beauty for clarity. 4/5

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According to Liberation

The Underground Railroad stumbles at times, either going too far or not enough in its way of embracing the strangeness of certain situations that touch on the fantastic. But its density and ambition make it a fascinating work, where the raw frontality mingles with the intangible. Until the climax of a penultimate episode of astonishing darkness, where the whole democratic exercise ends at the stake. 3.5 / 5

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