At about the midway point of "Late", the third episode of Hulu's adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, Nick (Max Minghella), the kind but potentially risky driver for Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), warns his boss's handmaid, Offred (Elisabeth Moss), with a simple phrase: "Everybody breaks". "It's kind of like a Shakespeare play in that it remains timeless in its content". And that is just another way to have the oppression right on top of these women.
So, the choice to include a splotch of blood in "The Handmaid's Tale" is a bold one. "Our version needed to be unflinching if it was going to be successful".
"Canada has been escaped to many times", said Atwood.
This is in keeping with an inflammatory comment made by the cast during a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival, that they've since wheeled back.
MARGARET ATWOOD: I think one of the things that's happened to them is, rights were won for them long ago, and they just took them for granted.
Scher and Miller's creation consists of a pleated or accordion-shaped structure imprinted with multiple images of one the handmaids envisioned by Hulu's show, which stars Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss.
The remarks caused a stir, and were blamed on Hulu's marketing team, even though Atwood herself has made similar claims. When Offred says, "I don't know what I did to deserve this", the delivery is devastating, because it is not dripping in self-pity, as it might be, but in sheer surprise, that this could happen to anyone, at all. "If you have a voice and you want to use it, this would be the time to do so". Many American women felt they were experiencing a reduction in some of the social, political and economic gains they had earned during previous decades. It makes for great reading, but it's not exactly cinematic. She loves her husband, and wants a child. It's endlessly interesting to play a character who had this former life and a family and an identity that was stripped from her and now she's essentially enslaved and oppressed and fearing for her life.
"The book has a sense of anecdotal remembrance". It is impossible and unforgivable to say or think otherwise. She does the daily grocery shopping with Ofglen (Alexis Bledel), the handmaid down the street, both wearing the garb that befits their station: red cloaks and white, nun-like hats that shield their faces, clearly advertising to the world their place in it. That's because the show's biggest strength lies in what we don't know and are struggling to figure out for ourselves. We're so used to being able to hop on the internet or watch TV or ask somebody a question, and she's lost all of that.
"Point-blank and simple, this is one of the most overtly feminist fictions in print", Wiley told The Advocate.
Staying true to the heroine's point of view was key for Miller, who said he wanted to keep as much of Atwood's original story intact as possible. "I never meant to play Peggy [from Mad Men] as a feminist, and I never expected to play Offred as a feminist", Moss said at the Tribeca panel, stepping away from the word even as she invoked Hillary Clinton's famous, widely considered to be feminist, rallying cry that she delivered at the United Nations' Fourth World Congress on Women in Beijing in 1995.
Not to mention, this is a world where women really aren't allowed to have friends.
Are you ready for some dystopian horrors that feel just a little too real? It shows immediately how I am supposed to relate to someone.