Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People has been ever present on NZ best seller lists over the last few years. I finally picked it up after seeing it in the window of Unity Books for months on end and slowly became irreversibly attached to the endearing characters. When I heard there was going to be a mini-series adaptation I was sceptical of the transition from page to screen, but upon watching it I was really pleasantly surprised.
Romance seems to be a genre I’ve become a little disconnected from, only really having a laugh at Netflix’s less-than-incredible teen targeted rom-coms. The best on-screen relationships usually come in coming-of-age or adventure films, where the actual dynamic between the characters isn’t the main focus. Normal People is so refreshing, with intimacy and sincerity spilling from every scene. Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones are consistently compelling, portraying a devastatingly personal relationship, that’s both awkward and exciting to watch. There’s a little bit of frustration that comes from their inability to communicate, but they’re so likeable and empathetic that I don’t really care. Throughout the series the directors use some unique techniques to highlight the warm cosiness and the cold loneliness of the turbulent relationship. It’s a unique and addicting portrayal of insecurity, intimacy and love. It would be great if Connell could finish a sentence though. Just talk to each other ffs.
9/10: Wattpad but good.