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Home TV Shows Reviews ‘The Big Cigar’ Apple TV+ Series Review - From Tension to Liberation

‘The Big Cigar’ Apple TV+ Series Review - From Tension to Liberation

The series follows the daring escape of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton to Cuba, orchestrated with Hollywood producer Bert Schneider’s assistance, amidst intense FBI persecution.

Anjali Sharma - Fri, 17 May 2024 01:22:15 +0100 917 Views
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"The Big Cigar" emerges as a riveting tapestry woven from the threads of history, offering a nuanced portrayal of a tumultuous era through the lens of a daring escape that defies conventional boundaries. Set against the backdrop of 1970s America, this Apple TV+ series ventures deep into the heart of a manhunt, chronicling the extraordinary journey of Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party, as he seeks refuge in Cuba with the aid of Hollywood producer Bert Schneider.


With its premiere on May 17, 2024, "The Big Cigar" captivates audiences with its compelling storyline, rooted in the real-life events chronicled in Joshuah Bearman's article. The series wastes no time in plunging viewers into the thick of the action, with the first two episodes released simultaneously, setting the stage for a gripping narrative that unfolds with each subsequent installment.


At the forefront of this captivating tale are the powerhouse performances of its lead actors, who breathe life into the complex characters they portray. André Holland's portrayal of Newton is nothing short of mesmerizing, capturing the essence of a man driven by a fierce desire to reshape society amidst the relentless pursuit of the FBI. Opposite him, Alessandro Nivola shines as Schneider, the enigmatic producer whose unexpected bond with Newton becomes the linchpin of their audacious escape plan.


Supported by a talented ensemble cast, "The Big Cigar" delivers depth and nuance to its array of characters, each contributing to the rich tapestry of the narrative. From Tiffany Boone's portrayal of Gwen Fontaine to Marc Menchaca's portrayal of Agent Sydney Clark, each actor imbues their role with authenticity and depth, adding layers of complexity to the story.


Behind the scenes, the creative vision of directors Damon Thomas and Don Cheadle elevates the series to new heights, infusing each frame with cinematic flair and visual splendor. The cinematography transports viewers back in time to the gritty, pulsating streets of 1970s America, capturing the era's essence with breathtaking authenticity.


Complementing the stellar performances and stunning visuals is a script crafted with precision and care. Seamlessly blending political intrigue with Hollywood spectacle, the writing of "The Big Cigar" navigates the labyrinthine twists and turns of Newton's escape with skillful finesse, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats from start to finish.


A standout element of the series is undoubtedly the evocative soundtrack by Robert Glasper, which infuses each scene with a rich tapestry of jazz and hip-hop, enhancing the tone and mood of the narrative. From the pulsating rhythms of revolution to the haunting melodies of introspection, the music of "The Big Cigar" serves as a powerful accompaniment to Newton's journey.


Despite its many strengths, "The Big Cigar" is not without its flaws. Some viewers may find the pacing sluggish in the early episodes, as the series takes its time to establish the intricate web of characters and motivations. Additionally, the blend of historical drama and suspense may not resonate with all audiences, with some finding the tonal balance uneven at times.


Furthermore, with a large ensemble cast, some characters may not receive the development they deserve, potentially leaving viewers wanting more. While the lead performances by Holland and Nivola shine brightly, others may feel overshadowed by the sheer scope of the narrative.


Yet, these criticisms pale in comparison to the sheer ambition and audacity of "The Big Cigar." Through its gripping narrative and powerhouse performances, the series transcends the confines of traditional storytelling to deliver a thought-provoking exploration of identity, freedom, and resistance in a time of profound upheaval.


In conclusion, "The Big Cigar" stands as a testament to the power of storytelling to illuminate the hidden corners of history and inspire audiences to confront the complexities of the human experience. With its stellar cast, visionary direction, and evocative storytelling, this is one series that demands to be seen, offering a glimpse into a world where the lines between truth and fiction blur, and the quest for freedom knows no bounds.


Final Score- [7.5/10]
Reviewed by - Anjali Sharma
Follow @AnjaliS54769166 on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times
Note: All 6 episodes are screened for this review.
Premiere Date: May 17, 2024, on Apple TV+ with its first two episodes, while the rest will be released weekly every Friday.

 

 

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