When I finished the last chapter of the series of HBO’s The Last of Us I wondered if I really am capable of establishing an accurate and impartial critique. It is obvious that the original material seems brilliant to me and that the production of the series is more than consistent. So much so that we wouldn’t have much problem in elevate it to the podium of the best adaptations of videogames to cinema that have been done. But it’s also obvious that when, like me, you’ve played the game so many times, it’s hard to guess the impact it will have on the average viewer who has never even gotten close to it. Naughty Dog’s work. I’m very curious what that viewer will think, and if they will cherish some of the moments in this story as much as we players have in the last decade.
Only with the first chapter, you have that warm feeling of cared for product
Already only with the first chapter, you have that warm feeling of care product. From the peace of mind of knowing that the work is in good hands and that the participation and control of Neil Druckmann and Sony together with the director and screenwriter craig mazin (Chernobyl) have perpetrated a series that seeks to be faithful to the original (with some surprises) instead of wondering what the current viewer is looking for to keep them hooked and adapt to it. It has intense moments, but its shots also seek calm and languor of a civilization that walks without much hope of heading anywhere. the melodies of Gustavo Santaolalla along with some themes David Fleming they perfectly emphasize that feeling of melancholy and inertia to continue living, just as Santaolalla already achieved in the original game. It makes one, if this is still necessary, feel a little proud of this medium of ours and of having a product that represents it well in another form of entertainment.
Is The Last of Us a faithful adaptation?
Now, how faithful is the series to the video game? A lot, without a doubt. Even if at times the audacity of expand or modify certain characters or relationships, I think few people are going to raise an eyebrow at it, because the spirit is always present. In iconic moments it is so faithful, so adapted, that repeat planes and script lines from the video game word for word. Not only that, there are details you wouldn’t expect, such as the wind shaking the curtain and the light that reveals the raised dust. There are tributes to game mechanics, even with the classic moments in which you have to lift a ladder or move stealthily among the furniture in an interior.
The big differences I have found with the secondary characters. It is at this time that the series seeks to get further away from the plot and use cinematographic techniques that the video game cannot afford so much. In some chapters, you have the feeling that you are watching a kind of narrative expanded edition of the original game. It is interesting, without a doubt, to learn more about this world, although I think that the omission of information that the game made was just as brilliant. In cinema, the point of view can be altered more than the video game allows, which has a perspective more similar to that of modern literature, always focused on following a single character, or sometimes two, limiting everything to what that he sees The movie camera and the montage offer, on the other hand, a more omniscient way of seeing things, in which we can see secondary characters being the only protagonists of many scenes, without joel either Ellie take sides. This gives the narrative an expository character that provides more information, without a doubt, but, as I say, it was also interesting to connect the dots and guess what the pasts of these secondary characters were, just as the video game did.
This novelty, however, is well received and gives an almost choral aspect to the work, which focuses a lot on human stories after the apocalypse to the point of discarding many of the confrontations against those infected by the virus. Cordyceps. While there are still plenty of moments of action, obviously not as many as a video game that has to elaborate a build of combat mechanics in all of its scenes.
Do Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey meet as Joel and Ellie?
In some chapters, it seems that you are facing a kind of narrative expanded edition of the original game
I think anyone who has played a lot of The Last of Us will recognize Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in the characters of Joel and Ellie. In the case of the series, we find a Joel who has seemed somewhat more empathetic to me at times, less cold and, obviously, less of a killing machine. It doesn’t mean he’s been whitewashed at all, as his troubled past continues to be emphasized, but it also offers that feeling when he misses shots and makes mistakes in action sequences. Ellie, on the other hand, has had her aggressive character accentuated more and constant confrontation with everyone who crosses his path. Ramsey gives a very good performance and, at the same time, I think the differences with Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson from the original game. In my case, I have so internalized the tone of some of the video game conversations that I prefer them and their intensity, but, obviously, it is not an impartial assessment.
Looking now at this post-apocalyptic story in serial format, I realize that the plot of The Last of Us is, deep down, even shorter than I thought. The gameplay, with its exploration of the environments and its intense moments of action, added a greater sensation of a long and arduous journey through the United States. In the series, I think that feeling is diluted a bit, because you can’t dedicate so much footage to two people walking and that is why they have decided to expand some of their plots and characters. the result is very good and, as I said, one of the best adaptations of our medium to the cinema. Which, deep down, is not that it has much merit due to lack of competition. I also understand that they have chosen this format so faithful to the original work, because TLOU was already a very cinematographic game. Changing scenes just for the sake of not looking like the ones already created would have been weird. All in all, I think this production will get the fan to enjoy Joel and Ellie’s trip againwhile the new one will discover why many of us continue to remember it.
The Last of Us is one of the best adaptations to the serial format of a video game. It achieves this with a careful production that can be seen both in the script, as well as in the production and construction of scenarios that perfectly set the scene for this post-apocalyptic future caused by cordyceps. It is also a series that is very faithful to the original material that comes to repeat word for word many of its most iconic scenes, and even some game mechanics that are represented on the screen, while also reserving unique moments that expand the stories of some of his supporting characters. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey give a great performance of Joel and Ellie on their hard and human journey to find something to fight for.
It is written and directed by game creator Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin.
It is a very faithful adaptation, sometimes repeating the same scenes and lines of dialogue.
There is also room for originality, with new scenes and depth in some characters.
9 chapters, some over an hour long.
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey do a great performance of Joel and Ellie.
Language: Dubbed into Spanish / Original version in English
Duration: 9 one-hour episodes
See The Last of Us file [HBO]