#SheViews The Handmaid’s Tale

June 12, 2018

How A Look Can Replace Words

Image: SBS

Don’t worry, I’m not here to spoil anything for you. I am simply here to validate the reason as to why you should be waiting with baited breath each week for the release of another episode of The Handmaid’s Tale.

By now you should of in some way, heard about The Handmaid’s Tale. The story of red-cape clothed-white-visor-wearing women enslaved by the powerful couples to bear children for them. The story follows Offred (aka June) and her life as a Handmaid in Gilead, while flashbacks fill in the gaps of her life ‘before’ and give understanding and strength to her character. The community of Gilead is a step back in time, where women have no rights and are the property of men. This scenario has been created as a solution to the world’s declining ability to reproduce, with only some women able to bear children.

You may be thinking… How can someone sit down and watch the confronting and degrading life of these women? As much as the storyline is pretty messed up, it is also confusingly empowering. It’s the subtle things- the glances, facial expressions and interactions that give the women these small but satisfying amounts of power. The unspoken conversations are what empowers these women and make the show so enticing.

The pure beauty of The Handmaid’s Tale is when two characters are having a conversation, which has one meaning purely through dialog. With eyes closed these conversation seem one-dimensional and exactly what they are verbalising. However, it’s the small interactions and facial expressions happening during the conversation that contradict the verbal and give it a completely different meaning.  

This way of expressing so much meaning in a 10 second facial focus, is what draws you into the whole story. The Handmaid’s Tale is not something that can be ruined by words. It is something that you have to experience to understand the full beauty and impact of the story. I can guarantee there is never a dull moment, and you will be enticed until the the very end, which always seems to come too quickly.

You can view The Handmaid’s Tale on SBS On Demand. Season two is currently on episode 8, with new episodes released each Thursday. Seriously though, get around it. You won’t be sorry.

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