What is the Queen’s Gambit and Why It’s So Famous!

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: November 25, 2020

When The Queen’s Gambit
dropped on Netflix, everybody was wondering about the queen gambit real story and nobody had any idea about the impact it would create and its many reasons. But in
only a matter of a few weeks, the show cemented its position alongside Normal
People and Unorthodox, becoming one of the best new series of 2020.

The premise of the show
seemed interesting at first read: a young orphaned chess prodigy becomes an
addict and battles substance abuse while competing to become the best chess
player in the world. Despite winning the hearts of the critics in the first few
days, the series would actually be called a sleeper’s hit.

Source: Flare

The show is comprised of
seven episodes and every episode is a fascinating watch! It gradually grips you
and gives insight into the mysterious world of chess. The show brilliantly
captures the lives of women in the 60s – from their silent ambition to
beautifully designed clothes and antics.

This was the intriguing
factor, because so far, TV and films have failed to combat the level of the predictability that is found in independent and strong female characters.
Usually, there has to be some kind of trauma involved for the woman to realize
that she’s been wronged and that she must seek revenge or justice.

In one way or another,
the man has to do something terribly wrong – like, leaving after impregnating
her or sexually abusing her in her childhood – to make the woman look
strong.  This feeling of being wronged serves
as the motivation and this erroneous mentality is embedded in our culture to
the extent that it becomes formulaic.

This is exactly what we
expected from The Queen’s Gambit, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that
its storyline is not predictable at all.

Source: Medium

The show is based on a
novel written by Walter Tevis and it has Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomas
Brodie-Sangster, and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd in the cast among others. Anya-Taylor
is the protagonist whose blood mother commits suicide and her father abandons her, as
a result of which she lands up in an orphanage and befriends Jolene. Here she
also stumbles upon a janitor who eventually becomes her mentor. He teaches her
how to play chess and becomes the man behind her success.

The brilliance of the
show is its master ability to transport us back to the 60s when drug
consumption and fashion went hand-in-hand. The era was of flamboyance and drama,
which this series blended with chess and passion. It honestly made chess look
sexy. The pace of the show was such that it deserved to be savored rather than
binged overnight.

Taylor-Joy plays the
role of Beth Harmon to absolute perfection: her big eyes and statement
hair-style were only the cherries on top. She has an extraordinary spark that is
undeniable. The supporting cast understood the grit and blended perfectly in
Harmon’s world.

If we think about it,
chess was the upper layer of the show. Think of it like an onion: the innermost
layers of the show contained themes like repression and internalization. It
speaks to us on a human level even today. The women of that era repressed their
emotions, be it, passion, lust, hysteria, ambition, and even anger. They had succumbed
to the idea of a perfect housewife, and even a slight deviation from that thought
frightened them, as it was not the norm. Hence, the fear of judgment and
defiance got repressed and transformed into addiction and passive-aggressiveness.

This is when the role
of tranquillizers comes to play: it was this drug that was used to quiet the
aspirations, dreams, and ambition of women. 
Although it was specifically
designed for housewives who were experiencing “hysteria”, it became popular in
orphanages, too.

It was used to control
children so that they don’t become too emotional due to the trauma they’ve been
through. And that’s how Beth had her first episode of addiction, as a nine-year-old, when a child doesn’t even know what addiction is. She, however, consumed
tranquillizers, as they helped her imagine the game.

Source: Vogue

As she grows older, her
mannerisms and choreography of the match become more and more complex. However,
the attendees would always be astonished and leave the game mesmerized by her
achievement that she earned so effortlessly. And that is exactly what we, as
viewers, felt: inspired.

Music on the show is
used to reflect back the mood of the society at that time. It added to the swag
that Beth so graciously carried. At first, the tunes would seem simple, but
with every passing episode, they became more structured and aggressive. 

Beth, at first, might
seem arrogant and unemotional. However, the truth is that she showed a variety
of emotions. She was confident of her abilities, but she also had the drive to
improve. She would show happiness after winning a match and anger at defeat.
She would also be seen ridiculing her opponents after she’d outperform them.
Her smugness, however, never turned into complacency. You could describe her
lust for victory as deadly accurate and measured.

And never even once in
the show does she compromise her ambitions to fit into a man’s world.In fact,
she didn’t even believe that it was a man’s world. She never bothered to see
what the gender or age of her opponent was. She soon became the grandmaster she had
always imagined herself to be.

Normally, the trend is
to show men as evil who plot against women and maintain the crown. However,
this show was different: Beth didn’t become resentful because a man outperforms
her; the defeat fuels her with the urge to pull off her best game and improve.
She wasn’t sitting around patiently to be treated as an equal; she knew and
acted as if she already was. And men, on the other hand, treat her as the same.

And that is exactly why
you must watch this impeccable series: for the way it has
portrayed grit and passion regardless of gender.


Updated November 25, 2020
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