Wings in the worst way: Handmaid’s Tale

By: Jade King

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – Red dress, red cape, white wings: the symbols of a handmaid. They are being offered an opportunity to do “good” because they couldn’t in the before, given a chance to prove themselves worthy to God and their country, all for the low price of being raped.

Gilead is the setting for Hulu original series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood. Set in a dystopic future, the government is taken over by those called “The eyes.” They bomb the capital and change the system to not one of freedom but one of complete repression, all influenced by the Bible. The United States before the transformation was seen as full of sin and what we see as freedoms are evil.

In a time where having a healthy baby is rare and considered a miracle, a woman with a healthy reproductive system is the most important resource, whether the women like it or not. Taken from their family and forced out of their homes these women were captured as they were trying to escape the country. They have been gay or an adulterer or some other outlier profession where they are viewed as less than. They are beaten into submission and given strict instructions on how to act as their “aunts” mothered them into being perfect breeding stock. They are beautifully developed characters to walk with you through every scene.

If the storyline wasn’t fascinating enough, the cinematography will take your breath away. From perfect use of long and close shots to dramatic slowed down scenes to capturing the characters reactions, this show is a cinematic masterpiece! 

This show reinforces how fortunate we are as a country; we have freedoms that allow us to ignite a discussion about difficult topics without the fear of being incarcerated. The freedom to religion, love, speech and to be yourself are some that I, personally, will not take for granted again.

Although the episodes are long averaging around an hour each, it does a wonderful job of leaving you on a cliffhanger. I have been left desperate to know what is going to come next. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a show that makes you think and leaves you thoroughly entertained… what more can you ask for?

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