Nicole Kidman’s ‘inner Osho’

Media Watch

Hulu’s new series stars Nicole Kidman as a mysterious spiritual guru, writes Rohan Nahaar in The Hindustan Times, published on August 19, 2021.

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If the success of Big Little Lies proved one thing, it’s that the success of Big Little Lies cannot be replicated, no matter how hard anyone, including creator David E Kelley himself, tries. His new show, also based on a book by Liane Moriarty, is Hulu’s Nine Perfect Strangers.

Nine Perfect Strangers takes far too long to explain what it’s actually about. In fact, it’s still a mystery after three episodes. Those who’ve read Moriarty’s novel would know what’s in store, but I wonder if that’s enough to enhance the experience of watching the show.

We begin with the titular strangers arriving at a luxury retreat run by an enigmatic Russian woman named Masha, played by Kidman in a sort of performance that is both absurdly over-the-top, but also frustratingly opaque. One character describes her as an ‘Eastern-bloc unicorn’, and that isn’t entirely inaccurate. But her motivations are deliberately murky. She’s sort of like a variation of Brit Marling’s character from The OA – someone who experienced a near death experience which awakened her inner Osho – but she’s also a quack who throws out gems like, ‘Pre-industrial man didn’t get depressed because he was too busy working.’

Nearly every one of her ‘guests’ is, in some way, suffering from a mental health issue… (excerpt)

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