The murky world of politics
"Democracy is so overrated"
-Frank Underwood (House of Cards)
A Congressman decides to take revenge from the people who wronged him. Does it sound cliché? Well, what happens when the people he decides to take revenge on turn out to be cabinet members of the US government and the President themselves?
Playing the lead role of Frank Underwood is Kevin Spacey and his wife, Claire Underwood is played by Robin Wright. The two are what make the show the most intense and thrilling. While Frank Underwood is a true Machiavellian, Claire Underwood is reminiscent of Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth. The couple, while trying to exact revenge, intricately makes plans through manipulation and connivance.
But what makes the show different from other US political dramas is that it does not revolve around a righteous man who gets to the top while walking on the path of truth, morals, and ethics. House of Cards is murky as it tries to throw light on the dark side of high-profile politics. Though the episodes are slow and long, the director gives us a visual treat by using panoramic shots and classy settings. Even the lighting and the sets' colours in each episode are in tandem with the backroom dealings and the betrayals which take place in this world of US politics. The plot lines which may seem incomplete are tied together perfectly in the end.
House of Cards really explores the nexus between the people in power and the 'harbingers of truth' by portraying the reality of their façades. Highly influenced by Shakespearean tragedies, the writers use the literary device of soliloquy to reveal the characters' innermost thoughts. But that's not all. To really understand the undertone of the show, the viewer may have to read between the lines and think about the symbolism depicted through each scene in every episode.
With plush settings, pristine performances, and a complex plotline, House of Cards is highly recommended for those who love political dramas.