Quicksand- Netflix Review

Quicksand- Netflix Review

Adrienne Cushman, Staff Writer

Quicksand, a Swedish drama series on Netflix, seems like it’s ripped straight from the headlines. Centered around the aftermath of a school shooting, the first episode opens with the sound of gunshots as the camera looms over dead, bloody bodies on a classroom floor. The audience is immediately drawn in and is begging to know “how did this happen?” and “will we know who did this?”

 

Well, it turns out, everything that went down in that classroom remains a mystery until the last episode. Although we do get some insight and a general gist of what happened, the actual scene of the massacre isn’t shown until the very end, leaving the audience to rely on Maja: the main character in the series. 

Maja doesn’t appear next until she’s in a Stockholm jail after being handcuffed at the hospital, after being suspected of a crime she may or may not have committed. While she is being detained, Maja repeatedly brings herself back to her past-both a strength and flaw in her character development. 

A high school senior who resides in Sweden, Maja is looking forward to her future of studying abroad in the United States. Her life is as normal as any other teenager’s, that is, until she meets Sebastian and vacations with him over the summer. She is introduced to his lavish lifestyle as they traverse the Carribbean on his father’s yacht, but is unsettled with how unsteady Sebastian and his father’s relationship appears. Despite her doubts, Maya continues to see Sebastian through the school year, and her friends begin to notice her morphing into a more stuck-up, egotistical person. As the relationship begins to grow more and more toxic, Maya finds it difficult to leave Sebastian, even though they are clearly bad for each other. 

Stylistically, Quicksand looks great too. The cold, grey hue that looms over the series fits the aesthetic beautifully, and it provides depth to the episodes. During the scenes where Maya is having flashbacks of the past, a brighter, more saturated filter is applied. This contrast emulates the difference between the cold and bleak present and the joyful, memorable past. 

For a series like this, the character work is always an important detail to nail on the head, and thankfully every character in Quicksand is on point for most of the run time. Hanna Ardéhn does an excellent job portraying Maja, with just the right level of wide-eyed stares and tear-stained shock to contrast her more sensitive moments. Felix Sandman’s portrayal of Sebastian is worth pointing out too; his mentally unstable and unpredictable demeanor works really well next to Maja’s character.