Set in a futuristic present day, Owen Milgrim (Jonah Hill) and Annie Landsberg (Emma Stone) are subjects of an experimental drug programme. While under influence of this drug, their minds bring them to what seem to be alternate universes where they inhabit different versions of themselves. Both characters have separate reasons for taking part in the experiment, but they indirectly form an alliance as they are challenged by these mental trials and the real world.
Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, ‘Maniac’ is a mini-series with a refreshing take on the psychological sci-fi, despite its visual and conceptual similarities to films such as ‘Her’ and ‘Inception’ respectively. The stereotypically dark and moody sci-fi tropes are subverted with the use of eccentric characters, colourful set design, and genre fluidity. Maintaining authenticity with this level of quirkiness is not easy, but Cary pulls it off with help from Hill and Stone. By exploring alternate personalities in a number of different worlds, both leads have the opportunity to show-off their range and ability to create onscreen chemistry. All 10 episodes of Maniac are now available on Netflix.
Review by: Conrad Jones (Greencard Intern)