Netflix has released the first full trailer for Maniac, the surreal mind-numbing experience from The Leftovers’ Patrick Somerville and director Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation).
After seeing that first teaser, I didn’t know what to expect. Now, I have no idea what to think. What the hell did I just watch?
The limited series stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as participants in a pharmaceutical experiment to tap into the hidden strengths of the mind for things like erasing pain and healing trauma. Unfortunately, the trial run doesn’t go as planned, leaving Stone and Hill trapped in “some multi-reality brain magic shit” that harkens back to other visually stunning works like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
After watching the two-minute trailer, I’m feeling both exhilarated and bewildered. I’m a sucker for works that breach reality and escape the confines of what we expect visually and narratively. That said, I still don’t quite know what to make of this one. Is it going to be like Inception, using a complex visual structure to tell an essentially simple story? Or will it fall victim to its own genius, sacrificing plot for style, as Legion has tended to do in recent episodes? I’m hoping the former.
Also, did I actually see a Purple Koala muppet-like creature in there, or did the trailer lodge itself so far into my brain that I too am seeing things?
Maniac begins streaming September 21.