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The Sandman review: an incredible adaptation from Netflix - The Verge

Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman stars Tom Sturridge and Gwendoline Christie and starts streaming on August 5th.

The opening moments of Netflix’s The Sandman are heart-stopping. We watch a beautiful raven fly from the waking world of humans into the realm of the titular Sandman (Tom Sturridge). Angles bend impossibly, light from unknown sources dazzles the grounds, creatures of nightmares and fevers intermingle, an eternal library folds on itself. Yet this is our world, too, the one we enter when we close our eyes. In his voiceover, the Sandman mocks humans’ presumption that dreams remain innocuous: are we not affected by our dreams, by what we yearn for and fear?

The Sandman is a dark fantasy horror comic franchise written primarily by Neil Gaiman, who also served as an executive producer and writer on the Netflix adaptation. It tells the story of a powerful being who controls all dreams and nightmares and his interactions with the human world. We witness his journeys through history, influencing great events, as well as his travels to realms like Hell (a realm that only exists because of human fears). In this first season, Netflix adapted Gaiman’s first two The Sandman books: Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll’s House.

But “adaptation” is almost an insult to what the creators achieved. The series is perhaps the best-screen adaptation of big concept fantasy literature since Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Beat for beat, iconic frames, lines of dialogue, performers’ makeup and wardrobe — all of it followed the books, except for a few changes.

I do not wish to spoil the episodes and so will be slightly vague about certain plot points and episodes.

Patton Oswalt as Matthew the Raven and Vanesu Samunyai as Rose Walker in The Sandman.

Image: Netflix

In 1916 England, a power-hungry playboy, cult leader, and egotistical buffoon called the Magus (Charles Dance) yearns to control death. He conjures a spell to trap the embodiment of Death, the Sandman’s sister. However, instead of capturing Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), the Magus and his cult capture Dream, aka the Sandman — along with some of Dream’s powerful tools. With Death’s capture, millions are suddenly affected by a strange sleeping sickness: either unable to sleep or basically in a coma.

Post ID: 934ec3ed-684e-4d9b-ac8f-3d805b89ed1a
Rating: 1
Updated: 21 hours ago
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