“Invisible”, disturbing and captivating Belgian fantasy thriller

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Series Invisible begins with a particularly painful scene, an eye operation that goes wrong for some mysterious reason. The laser does too much, and comes too close … The audience feels these plans in their flesh, and the intrigue is launched. The eyes, the sight, will be at the heart of the fiction, as meaning as much as as vectors of social metaphor. Broadcast from this Sunday by RTS, this Belgian series confirms the vigor of the new world of series in French-speaking Belgium, after Public enemy and The Truce.

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Belgium, new land of TV series

The story: erasures and humiliation

In Creux, a fictitious town in Wallonia, supposedly in the Ardennes forests. The city is dominated by a huge telecoms branch. Laurence, a central figure (Myriem Akheddiou, perfect in amazement and determination), is precisely hypersensitive to waves and militates against 5G, in the company of other residents who are considering coming to more muscular methods. Like her father, a star in his sector, Laurence is an ophthalmologist.

At first, therefore, she will undergo a usual cataract operation. That ends in disaster. In her school setting, Lily (Elisa Echevarria Menendez), Laurence’s daughter, accepts a sexual invitation and gets tricked, filmed and shown on the networks. Shame to the bottom of my soul. She refuses to go back to school, feigned every day. She suddenly finds Angèle (Jacqueline Bollen) the nurse, who seems to want to help her grandfather. And who is invisible …

An epidemic

There is talk of an epidemic in Invisible, since the fact that bodies become imperceptible to others seems to be spreading. A staggering phenomenon, of course, heightened by the fact that the victims must walk naked in the streets, otherwise their clothes would be clearly visible, floating in the air …

After a first sequence in hospital corridors a little awkward, horrifying way quickly, Invisible very quickly disturbs spectators. The series created by Marie Enthoven, written with Bruno Roche and Nicolas Peufaillit, is based on this radical postulate of disappearance, a bit like the returns of the dead of Revenant or the mass eclipse of Leftovers – although the tone is different here. The first strength of Marie Enthoven is to organize her narration at several stages of the strange phenomenon, acquired for a woman who approaches Lily, and in progress concerning another protagonist.

The invisible man, elastic creature of pop culture

The invisible man, sometimes the woman (and there it is often saucy), has his depth in pop culture since HG Wells and his very solemn novel of 1897. His registers, however, remain limited. The protagonist is crazy – this is the starting point in James Whales, the first adaptation of 1933 – either an even more clumsy imbalance when he disappears, or an adventurer who indulges in the most amusing pranks.

A press review about “Hollow Man”, in 2002: Is the invisible man laughable? Even …

“What if I was the one who couldn’t see anymore?”

Marie Enthoven takes invisibility in the dynamic sense of the term, as a change in progress, as a family revealer, above all. At RTBF, Marie Enthoven Told that the word “invisible” was whispered to him by a producer: “I wanted to think about a fantastic concept that would speak of our time, of our society, with this very ambitious word in the center.” She adds: “The element that appealed to me at the start of the project was indeed the link that I imagined between invisibility and the blindness of all of us. If someone is invisible, it is obvious to us that it is he who is no longer visible. What if it was the other way around? What if it was I who could no longer see? ”.

The end of the series, which we haven’t seen as of this time, has received mixed reviews, and RTBF has yet to announce whether or not it will re-stack. The soap opera lost quite a bit of audience during its broadcast last fall in his country, considered perhaps too dark when the population received the hammer blow of the second wave of the covid.

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An evocation of erasure to the world

The fact remains that the start ofInvisible is disturbing as well as captivating. The daring turns out to be great, the risks of ridicule multiply; however, the authors keep their tone and their course. It is indeed a mediation on the erasure of the world which unfolds in the framework of a fantastic thriller, under various aspects, even Lily’s despair represents a desire, very concrete and sad, to conceal herself from the world. Affective or social invisibility is in the gaze of the beholder …

In addition, the soap opera has its own mise en abyme. Jacqueline Bollen, 62, told: “When I was called for the casting, I was told:” It is the role of a 62-year-old woman who is invisible and when she is visible [à l’écran], she’s naked. “I found it funny that we ask a 62-year-old woman that, because we women are so fed up with being invisible from a certain age …” She added, before the broadcast: “I am very afraid of having hateful on the Internet, people who say: “But what is this sausage?”. But at the same time, there is something demanding about having accepted this role. I at least hope that my courage will be recognized! ”. It’s the case.


Invisible (international title Unseen). Serial in eight episodes. On RTS Un, every Sunday.

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