An endless rope sows confusion among those who approach it. This introspective drama with fantastic overtones gets tripped up in its concept.
A group of scientists stationed in a lost corner of Norway discover the presence of a rope which seems to extend indefinitely inside a wood. Some of them take it into their heads to trace the thread and unravel its mystery…
On paper, the purity and oddity of the synopsis of The rope, based on a fable by the German Stefan aus dem Siepen, were not the least of its attractions. also appeared as the ideal pilot of the project. It would probably be more accurate to speak of a reinvention of the book, Rocher taking here and there ideas that he twists and adapts to modernize the story. But, after having posed its powerful starting principle, the mini-series gets bogged down in its subject, as if paralyzed by its potential.
Eminently allegorical and metaphysical, the secret of The rope hides in the amplitude of the relationships between characters that the MacGuffin of the title will come to experience, calling on the depths of the human soul. However, the three episodes struggle to circulate the emotions and to soak up the experiences of the protagonists. Which are however embodied by a first-class cast (Jeanne Balibar, Suzanne Clément…).
Additionally, Rocher’s self-aware directing gives the series a real sense of atmosphere, kept alive by the haunting soundtrack of regular Desplechin collaborator Grégoire Hetzel. We were not far from being taken in.
The three episodes of The rope will be broadcast this Thursday evening on Arte and can be found for free on Arte.TV.