Netflix’s ‘Dahmer’ Can’t Conquer Its Enthusiasm

Maybe it’s a testament to having the title clunkily Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (on Netflix now) that watching this movie kept me entertained for days. Surely something is so powerful that it has to do its job, creating a mood of fear and sadness that pervades the room you’re in, like an inescapable stench. In that sense, creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan I’m supposed to have accomplished one of their goals.

But in the end of DahmerFor 10 hours straight, I wondered if that goal was worth it, or if the entire business – all this re-imagined horror – wasn’t a terrible waste of time and often cruel. Some purposes of the program are noble. It looks at at least some of the victims in their full lives – their aspirations, their families – and it delves into the fact that most of Dahmer’s victims were men and boys of skin. color. This has to do with the neglect of the Milwaukee police department, where there are countless opportunities to stop Dahmer as he continues his murderous behavior, but often ignores the concerns of everyone in the community. his.

Niecy Nash plays Glenda Cleveland, Dahmer’s neighbor as he lives in the Milwaukee apartment complex where his last series of murders took place. She has ample space on the show, to rage and beg, and, ultimately, to try to find some kind of peace in the ruins Dahmer left behind. Nash is brilliant in the role, and the extended compassion for Cleveland, who has virtually become a footnote in Dahmer lore, is the highlight of the film. As well as its wise considerations for victim Tony Hughes (Rodney Burnford) and 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone (Kieran Tamondong) and their families.

Even if the show involves families participating in the production or at least receiving their blessing (there is some evidence that they didn’t), DahmerSerious re-reading of horrors could never have existed without a little negligence. Many viewers, myself included, were certainly drawn in part to the film because of its morbid fascination — a natural human urge that was perhaps overblown during the boom years of real-life crime. this thing.

Above Dahmer, not everything is correct. There are many developments in its history and a range of narrative inventions. Some of the following factors, especially those involving Hughes, can be explained by the show’s sometimes slanted surrealism. Maybe the real relationship we see developing between Dahmer and Hughes before Hughes was murdered is simply tragic fantasy. But a person who is too tight will feel the manipulative power of the series in these moments, a steady hand that will squeeze the emotions out any way necessary. While also following a Hollywood quest for entertainment.

Given that this is the work of Ryan Murphy, it’s not surprising that DahmerTheir gaze often seems less intellectual. Dahmer is played by Murphy-Versay Evan peters, the intricate embodiment of a man whose true inner life is, in many ways, completely unknowable. (Dahmer gave a number of lengthy interviews while in prison, but there was something murky and elusive about him even there.) It was a mesmerizing performance, and we might as well. also attracted to Dahmer — or Peters’ version of him. Peters is a handsome guy, and on many occasions throughout the series, the camera seems aghast at that fact. How exactly is Dahmer mythologized in these cases?

This is also an issue with Netflix’s Ted Bundy, Extremely evil, extremely evil and vilein there Zac Efron turned a sadist into a gypsy. (Efron is pretty good in that movie, but it’s all in the service of boring endings.) Dahmer presented differently from that almost comical film, but the series still offers a curious and nauseous look at how sex works in its story. It’s all too easy to get the impression that, sometimes, Dahmer was supposed to be some sort of community-related gay drama, with a handsome young man at the center, just as Murphy attempted (and mostly, partly success in) In The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

But Andrew Cunanan, the man who killed Versace, was a dangerous fanatic who wanted to be admired and noticed – his crimes pointed outward, to the fervent, to the kind of attention. of the media inevitably followed. Versace may have done too much to give a killer exactly what he wanted, but somehow the show still feels, somehow, appropriately framed.

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