'Have you heard of the Daredevil TV show?'
'Ugh, what? No. Ugh. Is Ben Affleck in it? I hate everything'.
'I heard it's good'.
'You're an idiot, I hope you die in an explosion'.
I wish this conversation was simply an elaborate introduction to this post, but alas, I've been told to eat my words. Shovel them into my throat without any liquids to help them down. Let them fester in there, jutting painfully in my trachea.
The Daredevil some of us have grown to know through Frank Miller, lives in a gritty world with little remorse and painful submissions to his inner devil. He sounds like every superhero you’ve come across, and he is. The irony being that his saving grace is his lack of vision (or conventional vision, anyway). He could be Batman, but he’s blind. He could be Captain America, Iron Man and so on, BUT HE’S BLIND.
We are moved to watch life through his eyes, and it’s uncomfortable. The violence, his relationships, the characters, all conjure an uncomfortable unease, as they are there to remind you how he exists. Usually, a fight scene would involve me holding my breath and tensing my muscles. We have faith in Daredevil – he fights well – but we don’t know how it’s possible. ‘Heal properly before you go out, how many times do I have to say it’ I find myself screaming at the TV. How often have I said that to Iron Man: notorious to careless fighting, albeit beneath a suit made of iron.
His disability makes him seem disadvantaged, therefore makes him seem more human than Captain America, for example. His strength, his resolution, his pain and exhaustion is explored on a human level. Because of his disability, this superhuman is closer to us than any of the Avengers could ever be.
There are moments of comedy, for example when someone holds their hand out for a greeting, only to slowly realise he can't see it. For them, the comedy is in their stupidity, but for us it's his mockery of their sensibility. He can see it, through his 'sonar' style abilities, but he cares not to give anyone a hint of his power.
~He's blind, remember, he can't do simple things like shake hands~
He can, though, tell if you're lying through your heart beat, back flip onto someone's face, dodge bullets and hear screams across the city.
These elements, combined with the use of colour and camera work, give you an impressive piece film. The red of his suit (which isn't revealed until the end, and is by the way pretty damn disappointing), is reflected on him throughout the show through lighting and colour schemes. Anger and lust is also mixed in with this. Shadows are an ongoing theme, from Fisk to Murdock, as they both need to hide in plain sight. The only people available in full light are Karen, Foggy and Vanessa, as they are signals of hope. Although they are draped in shadow when full of secrets.
There's the fascinatingly choreographed 1 shot fight scene, which is reminiscent of Oldboy's corridor fight scene, but Daredevil has an element of poise missing in Oldboy's original version. He stands tall, he fights fast and he is unrelenting. Using a camera track to follow Daredevil in the corridor, jump in and out of rooms, throwing bodies around him and then reaching the door at the end to rescue the boy (shown through an undeniably distinct colour effect).
Charlie Cox is a great Murdock and a fantastic Daredevil, Vincent D'Onofrio is a terrifying Fisk and this show is beautiful to watch. Keep an eye on the skill used in symbolism through colour, focus and camera angles.