Monday, January 22, 2018

The Alienist starring Luke Evans, Daniel Bruhl & Dakota Fanning. Review of the TV Series Based on Caleb Carr's Novel #book2movie

Daniel Bruhl in The Alienist @Chapter1-Take1.com

Daniel Bruhl is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler in The Alienist based on book by Caleb Carr

Have you read the NY Times bestseller The Alienist by Caleb King. It was wildly popular when it was published in 1994 and it’s now a limited series on TNT & TBS. 

Set in New York at the end of the 19th century, here’s how the show is described on imdb.com
Crime reporter, John Moore, meets with psychologist, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, to investigate a serial killer in New York during the late 19th century.
Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning in The Alienist @Chapter1-Take1.com

Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans & Dakota Fanning star in The Alienist


Hmmm. That’s confusing. In the first episode of the show itself—Moore (Luke Evans) says he’s not a journalist, he’s an illustrator who Dr. Kreizler—the actual Alienist, played by Daniel Bruhl—convinces to help him solve the grisly murder of a young male prostitute via his sketches. Dakota Fanning is onboard as a thoroughly modern young woman, the first woman in the New York Police department. From the previews for upcoming episodes I gather there's a bit of a romance brewing between the two. 

Here’s what the publishers say about the book—which I haven’t heard of! When I saw the publication date, I knew why. My one and only son would have been just about one at the time. I didn’t have time for any book that didn’t tell me how to handle being an older mom at forty and what to expect that first year. Books? Not so many. Anyway, this one sounds good so I know a lot of you have read it. 
When The Alienist was first published in 1994, it was a major phenomenon, spending six months on the New York Times bestseller list, receiving critical acclaim, and selling millions of copies. This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere.

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.

I actually commented to my husband that I didn’t understand how an illustrator would get so involved with the solving of crimes! I’ll have to watch The Alienist again to see what I missed. And then, to be honest, I'll be watching the rest of the series. I like the spunky & resourceful Sara Howard played by Fanning and both of the male leads. The idea of this group coming up with the notion of a serial killer is intriguing and I love the time period, the dark, gloomy alleys, the lush costumer design. It all works.

Here’s the trailer (which also explains why the psychologist is called an alienist)

The Alienist Trailer



Give the show a gander and see how you think The Alienist stacks up. On its own merit or vs the book if you’ve read it. 

I’m all ears.

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