Maniac review round-up: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill star in 'a visually compelling romp' that 'fails in every reality'

FP Staff

September 16, 2018 14:23:08 IST

After Amy Adams in HBO’s Sharp Objects and Julia Roberts in Amazon Studios’ upcoming Homecoming, actors Emma Stone and Jonah Hill join the list of Hollywood stars turning to television with Netflix’s Maniac, a dark comedy mini-series looking at human connection.

The show, which had its world premiere in London recently, finds Oscar winner Stone and The Wolf on Wolf Street actor Hill play Annie and Owen, two strangers with personal problems who take part in a pharmaceutical drug trial.

(Also read — BoJack Horseman, Maniac, The Deuce, American Vandal: New and returning shows to stream this September)

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill in Maniac. Netflix

A trailer shows the two characters in multiple, sometimes fantastical, settings during the experiment where they are told by the doctor leading the trial that “pain can be destroyed, the mind can be solved”.

The show is written by Patrick Somerville and directed by Cary Fukunaga, known for Beasts of No Nation and his work on the series True Detective.

Here's what the critics are saying about the new Netflix miniseries:

Variety's Daniel D'Addario: "As a trial of something new, Maniac passes every test, and ascends instantly to take its place among the very best TV of the year. Its eagerness to expose unexpected angles is its great gift."

IndieWire's Ben Travers: "Academic and alienating yet surprisingly grounded, the miniseries should inspire many hot takes, term papers, and devout study of its visual prowess."

Collider's Allison Keene: "When Maniac is good, it’s funny, affecting, and fascinating; when it’s not good, it’s like having a conversation with a student in a Psych 101 class who wants to tell you about a dream they had last night and what it might mean."

Washington Post's Hank Stuever: "Maniac starts off too absorbed in its own complicated structure, but once Owen and Annie are strapped in at the lab (and experience an accidental melding of their subconscious states), the show becomes a visually compelling romp through highly detailed dreams and personal discoveries."

Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich: "Maniac asks big questions about reality, and then settles for the limpest possible cinematic representations of that reality."

Maniac premieres on Netflix on 21 September.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Updated Date: Sep 16, 2018 14:54 PM