THE CONSULTANT. Masterful Christoph Waltz in Amazon’s Black Comedy [REVIEW]
A satire about working in the modern IT industry? Black comedy with elements of horror? Or maybe an addictive thriller, the solution of which we will not guess until the last minutes of the screening? The answer is: bits and pieces of everything and a bit more. Amazon Prime Video’s The Consultant is a multi-layered work, brilliantly balanced, suspenseful and fearsome, while intelligently entertaining and subversively analyzing characters thoroughly imbued with the influence of capitalism, in which the sense of detachment from reality in favor of grotesque and transgressing the ethical norm evolves with each by a stretch. Christoph Waltz, as usual, does a great job of turning the viewer into a horse, creating a multi-dimensional character, disturbing, and often even repulsive through his actions, who at the same time … wants to watch more, and his psychoticism ominously draws you in. It’s the same with the rest of the range of well-written characters, for which we stay with the series until the end. What was so successful in The Consultant, and why do we forgive him for what ultimately did not work out?
From the very beginning, the creators do not stick with us – after 2 minutes of introduction, we already have a murder in front of us at the headquarters of an influential company, committed on its 20-year-old president by a terrifying teenage boy on a school trip. CompWare loses its main shareholder overnight, and employees can’t find an answer to the question of what prompted a small child to pull the trigger and take the life of their employer. However, the vacancy in the position of president does not last long – a mysterious businessman, Regus Patoff (Christoph Waltz), appears in town, who, thanks to the alleged recommendation of the late boss, Sang Woo, is now to act as a consultant for all kinds of matters. Young Elaine (Brittany O’Grady), a creative spokeswoman (because that’s what she wants to be called) and her friend and would-be lover, Craig (Nat Wolff), sense this trick and treat the secretive, peculiar consultant with a cool and distant attitude. Regus introduces his own unobjectionable principles into CompWare, smelling at once of horror and grotesque. His disturbing actions are sometimes funny, sometimes chilling – Elaine and Craig make it a point of honor to find out how a man from nowhere suddenly got a job as one of the giants of the IT industry and whether the still unsolved mystery of Sang Woo’s death can have something to do with the new consultant common.
In The Consultant we get a lot of questions that are partly explained to us, but the lion’s share of them we have to answer ourselves. What of the presented events was true, what are the specific attitudes of the characters, what are the numerous elements of the grotesque and black humor imbued with criticism of the modern rat race in virtually every branch of business for the metaphorical overtones of the series. On the one hand, this is a slightly irritating process, but also a much more engaging process for the viewer than giving them dry solutions to a puzzle, the details of which we have been trying to decipher from the very first moments of getting acquainted with the crime. The Consultant is a lot of healthy, perfectly balanced suspense, a completely anti-classical thriller, whose main source of fear and uncertainty (apart from the murder scene that starts production) are the unspoken suggestions of the script, deceiving the viewer with questions “are you sure?” or “what if…?” and none other than the demonic Regus Patoff. The protagonist inexplicably takes over the reins of a young, inexperienced president in the industry, has his own little quirks that annoy his subordinates, and soon it turns out that CompWare is not the only company where he took over the position of the boss after the unfortunate accident of the previous manager. It still muddies and carries with it the smell of suspicion that Elaine and Craig are aware of and cannot function normally.
Imagine seeing someone at work every day whom you suspect of involvement in a brutal murder, while being forced to subordinate and not show that you are suspicious of them in any way. These and many other problems have to be dealt with by the supporting characters, whose path is fortunately not only a complement to the fate of the main character, but is as engaging as watching Patoff’s actions. Brittany O’Grady is doing great, who after a successful performance in the first season of The White Lotus finally got a production with a lot of room to show off (which she used to the full and I hope to be able to watch her more often). However, nothing beats Christoph Waltz’s masterful multi-layeredness, who once again proves that the roles of peculiar, characteristically villainous characters are his absolute specialty.
There is a lot going on in The Consultant, but not for a moment do we get lost in the rush of the story, and all the flavors of the script with the right timing stay with us for longer. This is an extremely peculiar series that will certainly not meet the taste of everyone, even the biggest Waltz fan. This is nothing less than a black comedy worth knowing, which with the number of twists and sometimes completely knocked out new threads can throw you off guard. Despite this, with each episode he sinks into the screen more and more, masochistically craving even more absurd events, until we finally reach their climax, which leads to more than one tragedy. All in the name of career, recognition, proving power and influence on the world. Thus, The Consultant is a story that can be characterized as a study of lust, the desire for more and more, of pursuing the goal over corpses, which we will see in many forms during the screening. So if the atmosphere of unexplained crimes, hidden secrets and criticism of the modern road to success, seasoned with excellent acting and intelligent humor meet your expectations as to the Consultant – do not wait with the screening and throw yourself into this intellectual puzzle.
Definitely not perfect, but perfectly telling about the rat race in today’s reality focused on size and power. Complicated, multidimensional and exceptionally brilliant – The Consultant raises the bar high with this year’s series novelties.