Since its release on October 23, 2020, Netflix original series The Queen’s Gambit has become one of the platform’s most-watched shows. This riveting series, following the life of fictional character Beth Harmon, has remained at the number 1 spot of the Netflix Top 10 most-watched for weeks. A miniseries with only seven coveted episodes, The Queen’s Gambit builds up viewers with its adventurous plot and leaves them wanting more in all the best ways. If you haven’t checked it out yet, here are reasons to watch The Queen’s Gambit.
The Queen’s Gambit will make you fall in love with chess.
If you didn’t love chess before, you will soon develop a newfound appreciation for the game while watching the Queen’s Gambit. The story follows Beth Harmon, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, an orphan who learns the game of chess from the janitor of her orphanage. Beth quickly becomes obsessed with the game and shows a natural talent on a prodigy level, and dreams of becoming the best chess player in the world.
Chess is beautifully infused into every aspect of the series.
Just like Beth, who eats, sleeps and thinks chess non-stop, this series utilizes chess as thematic element throughout the film; such as Beth’s style of dress, her daydreams, and her overall approach to life.
It’s based on Walter Tevis’ novel written in 1983.
There has been plenty of interest in the adaptation of this novel from Hollywood heavy hitters over the years, including Heath Ledger before his untimely death. The adaptation was then undertaken by Scott Frank and Allan Scott, who wrote the current Netflix series.
The series’ costume design is phenomenal.
Everything about this show is amazing, but the costume design alone makes The Queen’s Gambit totally binge-worthy. Series costume designer Gabriele Binder does a stellar job at capturing the period of the 1950s and ‘60s. She also continues with the theme of “all things chess” through Beth’s fashion sense, by including checkerboard patterns and stark white or black designs in many of the chess prodigy’s most iconic looks.
The series flows more like an extended movie than a series of episodes.
There is a non-stop, seamless flow to The Queen’s Gambit that captivates the audience, truly leaving one unable to look away until the series comes to an end. This was intentional, and was achieved through a consistent hands on approach from series director Scott Frank. Frank directed all seven episodes of the series.
The set design and cinematography are flawless.
The work of cinematographer Steven Meizler and set decorator Ingebord Heinemann go hand in hand beautifully to enthrall the viewer into the peculiarly adventurous life of Beth Harmon. The concept behind set design was to consistently mute background colors but provide vivid detail, to echo Beth’s reserved but complex personality. The concept for cinematography captures the set design beautifully with sweeping shots and wide angles that show the full range and aesthetic of Beth’s life and surroundings.
Anya Taylor-Joy’s eyes alone give major emotional range the entire series.
Taylor-Joy truly brings her character to life with her wide-eyed interpretation of Beth’s emotionally dynamic tumultuous. She does amazing things with the space between her words, filling the screen up with her silent, evocative glares. Taylor-Joy proves that the cut of an actor’s eyes can in fact do just that, as Harmon’s eye game slices right through each and every one of her chess opponents on screen.
Anya Taylor-Joy learned complicated chess moves moments before filming various scenes.
Not only is Anya Taylor-Joy phenomenal in her emotional intelligence and delivery, she is just downright smart as an individual. Almost all the chess moves she so effortlessly plays on screen were taught to her moments before the cameras started rolling. Talk about a real-life acting prodigy.