Reasons to watch the Queen's Gambit

Came to realization that every show I watched on Netflix was based on a recommendation. A big thanks to my great friend M, who suggested this for me. She said it was inspiring and it was. But just as a character in the show said, a coin has two sides. the one that shines and the price of it. While inspiring, it also gave a raw view on what is the cost of achieving your dreams. However, I do not regret watching it and these are the reasons you should watch it too. 

The story is about Elizabeth Harmon, an orphan who begins to play chess at the age of nine with the janitor. She is adopted and gets along well with her new mother, but is soon left by the adoptive father and in need for money. This is how she begins attending chess tournaments, building a rating and competing against more powerful chess players. The other side of the coin is the constant relapse in taking tranquilizers, a habit obtained in the orphanage and alcohol. 

1. Fashion. If you're on the more visual side of filmography, the show gave us a pretty picture of how fast fashion changes, we got to see colorful and feminine dresses of the 50' and the transition to denim in the late 60'. Elizabeth Harmon has her personal charm which is only enhanced by her fashion sense. Being deprived of getting the clothes she wanted, Elizabeth is able to create her own style when she makes enough money. It is visible when she is walking in the hallway of her high school, after her glow up, that all the other girls have bright colored dresses, while she put her red hair in the spotlight wearing darker and fall colors.

2. You might consider learning chess. Never tried it before and to witness Elizabeth's fast moves made me dizzy at one point, especially with the speed chess. However, it showed that even for a natural talent, a genius mind like hers, it took dedication, hard work and a lot of studying. There were many strategies mentioned which only showed the complexity of chess. With limited pieces, they literally could fight a war that lasted hours and days. It is far a more challenging sport that I thought and it was very well portrayed in the show.

3. Empowering women. The main character was always concentrated in winning and finding the flaws of her games, and later on, when a reporter emphasized her success in the spectrum of being a girl, it hit both Elizabeth and me. Sure, it might have been a sport predominantly played by the males, but people were surprised more because she was a girl, than what strategies and tactics did she use. It was like it they were saying "You did a good job for a girl."

4. Giving a glimpse of women choices back then. Elizabeth had a tragic life in the beginnings, but it didn't end like that. She grew up in a orphanage, later lived with a depressed mother, but she believed in herself and walked the path she chose. A representative scene is when she encounters a former colleague from school, the pretty and popular girl, in the supermarket. The girl was still dressed up with a baby stroller and a bag of beer. We are the sum of our choices and after finishing the episode it made me think of the regret's lifespan. While the colleague married right after high school and had a baby soon after, Elizabeth travelled the world in pursue of perfection. None of the choices is wrong, but the way that woman was presented, it oozed regret. After pursuing her career, Elizabeth still had time to start a family if she wanted. But the regret of starting a family would have come later, while her colleague is suffering way longer. 

5. Importance of friendship. Many players Elizabeth crashed became her friends and while she's had a rather cold appearance, the support she received was always appreciated. The goal of defeating the Russian player was accomplished with the help of people she was better than. That emphasized the team spirit in chess, a world where you would think is conquered by the individuals. Another type of friends she had was Jolene, a girl who helped her in the orphanage days. It showed that family comes in many ways. Speaking of family, the bond she made with her adoptive mother was adorable. They learnt to lean on each other and even though the mother was suffering, she cared for Elizabeth.

6. The power to overcome the vices. Thought-out the chiseling of her game, Elizabeth was annoyed by every mistake she made. Whenever she couldn't predict a move, lose a game, or even a tie, she would drawn her sorrow in alcohol and pills. That lasted a long period of time, but to see her surpass that in order to beat the most powerful player in the world was something that made me proud of her. Substances symbolized more than that. It was a way of showing our own weakness, the things we relapse on and aren't proud of. It was also a way we can do that, and the more we learn how to fight, the more likely we are to win.

All in all, I was glad I watched this show. It was not only inspiring, but realistic. You can't achieve your dreams or anything to be exact, if you don't pay a price for it. And the amazing thing is that, sometimes, we can chose the price we're paying. 

1 comment:

  1. As soon as I saw the trailer I wanted to watch this but I was too busy to do it. I will now, anyway since this review was very interesting.
    I have to say from what I've seen, she reminded me of you and I wanted to recommend it to you as well.
    It's definitely a very interesting take on woman in that time -and dare I say even nowadays.
    Loved the review. Kudos!


Leave a comment, I'll enjoy every letter of it.