CAST: Ambika Mod, Leo Woodall
DIRECTOR: Kate Hewitt
Derived from David Nicholls’ novel, which was also turned into a 2011 movie featuring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, ‘One Day’ tracks a couple annually on the same calendar date, offering snapshots of their evolution through early adulthood.
These yearly insights into Emma and Dexter’s journey, capturing moments both mundane and pivotal, paint a comprehensive portrait of a relationship that transcends its initial charming encounter. This 14-episode series, mostly spanning half-hour segments, provides a bittersweet exploration of life, especially the fluctuating phase of emerging adulthood, showcasing the dynamics of change, growth, and occasional setbacks.
The narrative kicks off in 1988, capturing the moment Emma and Dexter cross paths during their college graduation, a time brimming with boundless prospects. Following a near romantic encounter, they forge a deep bond, supporting each other through the maze of life’s decisions.
As time progresses, the limitless opportunities they once envisioned begin to narrow. Dexter finds fame quickly in the television world, whereas Emma’s dream of becoming a recognized author seems out of reach. Both navigate the complexities of love and face their setbacks.
‘One Day’ deviates from the classic romantic trajectory of moving straight from first look to love. Their initial encounter is marked by clumsy dialogue, which eventually gives way to more profound exchanges, sidelining physical intimacy.
Over the ensuing years, their bond fluctuates, tested by both mutual and one-sided romantic emotions. A deeper connection eludes them initially, as timing and circumstances never seem to favor their union. They navigate the rollercoaster of adulthood, experiencing both triumphs and setbacks in their personal and professional lives, which shape and at times hinder their progress.
The brief episodes serve as an enjoyable perk. The entertainment landscape is scarce when it comes to concise, captivating series, particularly within the drama genre. The short duration enhances its binge-worthy appeal; the promise of another episode being just 30 minutes away makes it tempting to watch just one more.
However, the success of the series hinges on the dynamic between Mod and Woodall, as the young actors forge a connection onscreen that resonates with authenticity and depth.
Their portrayal transcends the bounds of a simple fairytale, embracing the complexity of their characters through moments of conflict, passion, tenderness, and love.
The believability of their transformation into the older Emma and Dexter in their 30s might wane, but this is no reflection of their talent. The challenge lies in the impossibility of aging precisely one year with each episode. Despite changes in hairstyles and makeup, the youthful vitality and sparkle in their eyes remain undimmed, highlighting the limitations of visual aging.
Loved it. Streams on Netflix