Chernobyl has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. It holds a 9.6/10 rating on IMDb and a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It did, however, stir up some disapproval among viewers.
Revisiting the Past of Chernobyl
26 April 1986 was a relatively normal day in the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, maybe even a lovely day—until a tragic accident, which is today recognized as one of the worst disasters in the history of the world, occurred. An RBMK reactor was operated under unadvisable circumstances, and it heated up as a result. An uncontrollable nuclear chain reaction ensued; the reactor exploded, started a fire and released a fatal amount of toxic matter into the air. Two hundred thousand lives were lost.
The World Still Remembers
This disaster is now the subject of HBO’s Chernobyl, a historical drama miniseries directed by Johan Renck. The show re-enacts the tragedy and its aftermath, showcasing the efforts of the cleanup and disaster management crew, especially Valery Legasov (Jared Harris).
According to News18, there was dissatisfaction with the portrayal of “the plant’s workers, in particular, its management.” The article states that Paul Ritter, who plays Anatoliy Dyatlov, was accused by Sergii Parashyn of misinterpreting the character whose role he was given.
The show raises questions about ethics, conscience, morality, mortality, and duty in the face of a crisis. It is also a reminder that some tragedies can never be forgotten or ignored due to spatial or temporal distance. In conversation with Kent German of CNET.com, Jared Harris said:
“It covers a lot of different ground. There are elements of institutional failure, personal sacrifice, heroism, and horror, and it’s fascinating from an informational point of view. There’s an idea that the longer an institution exists, after a while its main purpose is basically to ensure its survival and not actually to perform the function it was created for.”
This is a highly recommended series with a wealth of themes and information. You can find it on Hotstar Premium.