The horror-thriller based on a true story made it to the top of Netflix
“Two Strangers” is the first work of Nathaniel Martello-White. He talks about class struggle, race and privilege.
Neff is an upper-class black woman living in a small suburban town. Everything seems perfect: the job, the love life, the happiness. The scenario changes when two mysterious figures start appearing everywhere.
This is the starting point for “two strangers”, the movie that hit Netflix on February 22nd that climbed to the top of the most watched peak, already holding the number one spot. A dramatic thriller that promises to make viewers uncomfortable.
The movie also marks an appearance Nathaniel Martello White, the actor who thus embodied the first film in the dual role of screenwriter and director. The lead role is played by Ashley Madekwe, an actress who has been in series such as “The Umbrella Academy” or “Revenge”, with the support of a group of unknown names such as Michael Warburton, Caroline Martin and Maria Almeida.
According to the film’s author, the effects are more than notorious and range from Jordan Peele’s “Escape” to Michael Haneke’s “Dangerous Game”. However, there is another, less obvious inspiration, a true story that Martello White heard from his mother.
“It was about a woman who was basically in denial about having two black children. She also had two children who were light-skinned, almost passed in as white, and this woman was biracial. I got stuck in a complication,” he said in an interview with Radio Times. That story, in what would make someone want to erase their past, deny it.
The old story made him sit down and talk to his mother. “I had a fun conversation with her about generational trauma and she told me about her experience as a biracial woman, what it was like crossing different cultures and classes, where she was sometimes seen as almost white, and the way she treated people.”
Martello-White, who expressed the idea by the fact that he had seen the work by Jordan Peele, decided to make this his first major solo project.
For the lead actress, the movie goes above and beyond. The horror genre thriller also deals with grief, class struggle, and motherhood. “Nathaniel wants us to have a conversation about identity, race, culture, imposter syndrome, and all of those things.”
Despite the success in the envisions, life for “Dois Estranhos” was not easy among critics, professionals and amateurs. It settles on the “Rotten Tomatoes” aggregator with a reasonable 71 percent, but the horrible 21 percent viewership attributes.
The Guardian described the British production as being responsible for “an intriguing study of race, privilege and difficulty in the social mobility of British blacks”, until the attempt “ends up being abandoned”. It only got two stars out of five.
The Wall Street Journal critic praises Madikwe’s performance, whose “performance dominates the film”. “Martello White relies on his eloquent face to underpin much of this movie.”