In these times when cathodic watering is hard to bear for lasting attachment: with an offer weighed down by the departure of Succession and Barry from the aqueduct, and with the main channels clogged up, pulling in aseptic, franchised production, it takes effort to find stimuli worthy of a weekly routine. We found some intelligent life in the Amazon Prime bazaar, with the sighting of Dead Ringers on its shelves.
A miniseries with the same title as the work it takes as a reference. Alice Birch (screenwriter of Normal People) is responsible for the TV remake of David Cronenberg’s 1988 film, both based on the novel Twins by Bari Wood and Jack Geasland which, in turn, was inspired by the real case of Stewart and Cyril Marcus, two gynaecologists who worked at New York Hospital and were found dead barely two days apart in 1975.
The plot outline of the Canadian author’s film is maintained in this remake, which is extended to six hours. The main deviation concerns the leading gender. The twins played by Jeremy Irons are now two successful gynaecologists, played by an unfolded, and plethoric, Rachel Weisz. On the one hand, Beverly, with her hair in a bun, is reflective, restrained, introverted, and represents the integrity, the defence of the ethics of her profession. Elliot, on the other hand, is at the antipodes in attitude and moral compass. Indifferent to the human tract, a drug user, extrovert, foul-mouthed and explosive, tempted by illegality and, obviously, she wears her hair down.
But despite being polar opposites, they have shared a placenta, and this is reflected in the comings and goings between them throughout the series. Allied, and interchangeable, to seduce lovers and sweethearts, or to treat patients in their successful (and futuristic) maternity clinic. Confrontations, dilemmas and tensions will arise between them that will call into question their identical genetic make-up, but, as this very The Knick ending shows, the strength of kinship will prevail.
Not all the focus is on the relationship between these eccentric sisters, Birch introduces a lot of contemporary fodder: surrogate pregnancy, eugenics, experiments with embryos that go beyond the law, reproduction clinics for the use and service of the wealthy litter. In fact, the universe through which the two protagonists pass is a perfidious, twisted and disturbing environment. Devoid of humanity beyond the vain attempts of the learned and kind sister to stick to science and medicine as a means to improve people’s lives, regardless of the thickness of their wallets.
In the gestation of this sterile and dreary climate, of a future present of icy appearance, the shadow of the Canadian, as well as that of his offspring, a Brandon Cronenberg who would seem to be the ideal choice for a production that is shared between Sean Durkin, Lauren Wolkstein, Karena Evans and Karyn Kusama.
But if there is one thing this thriller excels in, it is the magnificent role played by the superb Rachel Weisz in a genetic diptych that is the same, but differentiated. Beyond the minimal physical traits that serve to differentiate the two twins on stage, the very nuances of her performance lend themselves to this identity ambiguity on which the script relies to enhance some specific dramatic sections.
If you’re looking for something different from clone seriality, or simply to witness the (double) female performance of the course, the TV twin of the film Dead Ringers can save you from the trance of incessantly seeking cathodic rewards during the worst moments of the heatwave.