The devil of Hell’s Kitchen

A blind ninja sounds interesting, add some serious martial art and violence with that, a deadly combo is born. Raaisa Tariq reviews different aspects of the sensational Netflix Series Daredevil.  



A blind lawyer who fights crime at night — sounds cool, right? Well, the show Daredevil revolves around the journey of Matt Murdock who fights against injustice as a lawyer. Matt who was raised by his father, turned blind trying to save a man from an accident as a boy. He turned blind; however, the accident left him with extraordinary senses. Matt then enhances his skills by training under a blind martial arts master Stick and became a bad-ass fighter. Alongside, he completes his law school with his best friend, Foggy. Failing to bring justice to his father who was killed by Fixer, Matt puts on a mask and savagely beats his father’s killers, which later on brings wounded Matt into contact with a helpful medical worker, Claire Temple. This leads him to a deeper criminal confederation. Initially, he was addressed as the devil of hell’s kitchen by the people of the city, but later on he was named the Daredevil. Matt and Foggy then starts a law firm and works together on different cases. They meet Karen Page during a case, who ends up working with them as a secretary, and later on becomes the love interest of Matt. The show takes a different turn with the entry of Elektra, the mysterious and rebel ex-girlfriend of Matt.

Unlike other superheroes, Mr Murdock doesn’t occupy any super human strengths or nor relies on any expensive gadgets like Batman. Daredevil isn’t interested in slick sci-fi technology designed by Tony Stark or someone, or the easygoing humor of its big screen or TV cousins. This one has its own street-level story to tell, the Marvel Universe be damned. He’s just a blind person with really strong senses and bad-ass fighting skills. His senses are so strong that he is able to hear a heartbeat from 20 feet away, as well as identify people by their individual beat rhythm, or detect whether they are lying or not by the changes in their heartbeat. His blind ninja like technique is simply captivating compared to other heroes. And, there are no super-villains as well. The negative characters of the show are mostly gangsters, criminal confederations, smugglers etc.

All episodes of the first season were released on Netflix on April 10, 2015, while the second season was released on March 18, 2016. Ben Affleck’s daredevil movie wasn’t worth remembering, but this Netflix’s series has become popular in a very short time for it’s amazing story line and of course, the performances of all the characters. What prevents this show from being overwhelming is its fantastic lineup and interesting characters. Charlie Cox’s portrayal of blind Matt Murdock is outstandingly convincing and does total justice to the role. Cox brings the necessary mix of grit and Marvel-esque self-doubts to the dual role. On the other hand, other supporting characters also stand out delightfully, be it Elden Helson as Foggy, Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk or Deborah Ann Woll as Keren Page. In both the seasons Daredevil crosses paths with other vigilantes like punisher and Elektra, this surely adds extra charm and twists on screen.

The direction and story line of the show is pretty amazing. The cinematography of the serial is praiseworthy. The color palette fits firmly with the tone, with blacks and dark reds being preferred in the overall aesthetics. It even feels more cinematic than several of Marvel’s theatrical offerings. The show does not fit into marvel’s typical mold; the show is far darker than anything marvel has ever produced. The fights scenes are very well choreographed and synchronised with lots of long shots to make sure you can see every hit. But sometimes the scenes of bone cracking and high kicks become pretty repetitive. It’s not all perfect, sometimes the scenes where past and present both merged together seems pretty clumsy and hard to understand. And get ready for some real disturbing violence if you decide to watch it. And in my opinion his costumes so far are a bit of a disappointment.
The review website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 98 per cent approval rating for the first season, based on 51 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, ‘With tight adherence to its source material’s history, high production quality, and a no-nonsense dramatic flair, Daredevil excels as an effective superhero origin story, a gritty procedural, and an exciting action adventure.’ Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating ‘generally favorable reviews’. The second season has a 76 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 32 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, ‘Bolstered by some impressive action, Daredevil keeps its footing in season two, even if the additions of Punisher and Elektra can’t quite fill the void left by Wilson Fisk.’ On Metacritic, it has a score of 68 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating ‘generally favorable reviews’.

In spite of some small draw backs Daredevil truly feels like it’s aiming higher. Daredevil is probably the most elegant superhero in live action ever made. Marvel pairing with Netflix was one of the best decisions taken by them. So far, two seasons has come out and both are getting great reviews from the critics. No other series have scored more in its first season than daredevil in IMDB ratings.


Raaisa Tariq is a student of American International University of Bangladesh



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