Tim Burton’s ‘Wednesday’ Review: Jenna Ortega is a revelation
(Credit: Netflix)


Tim Burton's 'Wednesday' Review: Jenna Ortega is a revelation

'Wednesday'- Tim Burton

As a certified Addams Family superfan, I was quite sceptical of the new spin-off to the iconic film series. And after bingeing on the eight episodes by horror maestro Tim Burton, I think it is safe to say that Burton’s crew, especially Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams, lived up to the legacy and the name.

Lisa Loring was creepy and unsettling as young Wednesday Addams in the 1960s sitcom. Christina Ricci’s deadpan delivery was celebrated in the ’90s film series. In previous interviews, Ortega had revealed how she is aware of the “pressure” building on her to reprise the role of such a beloved and legendary character as Wednesday Addams. The actress not only does justice to her role but also is an utter revelation as she adds her own sardonic twist to the dark, sharp-tongued and morbid character.

Tim Burton makes his television debut with the Netflix series, where she adds a dollop of the macabre and eccentric horror to a teen drama. Wednesday focuses on the titular anti-hero Wednesday Addams’ escapades at Nevermore Academy.

Ortega’s Wednesday faces expulsion after attacking her brother, Pugsley’s bullies with piranhas and facing attempted homicidal charges. She joins Nevermore Academy, a school set up in 1791 for the outcasts. As she walks through the hallowed halls that reverberate with her parents’ story and her mother’s achievements, Wednesday grapples with regular teenage problems with a bit of a haunting twist. As she struggles to fit even among the misfits that comprise vampires, werewolves, gorgons and sirens, among other supernatural beings, Wednesday is plagued by psychic visions and a looming murder mystery that forces her to examine her parents’ past.

Joined by Gwendoline Christie as the sinister Principal Weems, the cast also sees Ricci return as the disarmingly friendly herbology teacher who has ulterior motives. Luis Guzman and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Gomez and Morticia Addams are brilliant in their individual roles but are not really as adept at the horny passion between the duo as displayed by Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston in the ’90s films.

The story has a sprinkle of Gen-Z elements and sees Wednesday take the lead as she smashes latent chivalry, solves mysteries and delves deep into the shrouded history of discrimination by normies against the outcasts while also being the centre of a classic teenage love triangle with an apparent normie coffee shop barista and the angsty teenage artist at Nevermore.

The series is pretty heartwarming; from Wednesday’s sweet relationship with the Thing to her growing friendship with Enid, the character evolution is commendable and something only a filmmaker of Burton’s stature could achieve. Ortega deserves special mention for never letting her character slip and maintaining the lacklustre yet vindictive tone- I love her! Unblinking and relentless, Wednesday, in her dark monochromatic colours, unflinching stare, ghastly sarcasm and pigtails, is a delight to witness.

While the story ends on a cheeky cliffhanger that can very well lead to a second story, we cannot help but ask for more Wednesday with a side of monsters and mayhem once again!