The battle of the Teutoburg Forest, in which Germanic warriors halted the advance of the Roman Empire in AD 9, is the focus of The Barbarians
Created by Andreas Heckmann, Arne Nolting and Jan Martin Scharf and starring Laurence Rupp, Jeanne Goursaud and David Schütter, the series presents a fictional event that motivated the event of the Battle of the Forest of Teutoburg during the occupation of Germany by the Roman Empire - a conflict that could totally change the course of modern history.
Many famous figures in the
history of this conflict are portrayed in the series. This is the case of
General Varus (played by Gaetano Aronica), who enriches the production with his
apparitions. The production design, inclusive, seems to be one of the best
elaborated among the last Netflix releases due to the richness of details and
the precise use of colors.
The direction of the episodes, by Barbara Eder and Steve Saint Leger, also responsible for Vikings, has an enigmatic tone in rhythmic terms, which collaborates a lot to the interest of the spectator.
The high point of the narrative certainly lies in the character Arminius (Rupp), who needs to make many important decisions during the episodes - and all of them can generate more conflicts between the people portrayed.
It is the dynamics of this character with Thusnelda (Goursaud) and Folkwin Wolfspeer (David Schütter), for example, that brings interesting and also necessary dramatic points to the center of the narrative.
The episodes, in this sense, seem to need the presence of all three to continue with vigor. Among the recurring themes of the series, the audience can expect many resentments, dangerous alliances, and also shocking sacrifices.
Barbarians: even with clichés, narrative is exciting
As captivating as the characters are, there are some clichés already seen in other productions of the genre. All of this is well tied in at the end, but the abrupt shift of focus during the 1st season can confuse a less attentive viewer. The scenes of imminent battles are very interesting and make a very pertinent articulation with the plot.
It is worth mentioning that the Battle of the Forest of Teutoburg was a decisive moment in Germanic history. Thus, Barbarians brings to the spectators some indications of what could have happened following the historiography, besides other very interesting additions to the emotional drama of the central characters - which did not exist in real life.
However, it is also interesting to point out that, in order to watch the series, one must not care too much about the violent content of the scenes. The battles seen on the screen are full of blood with beheadings, lashes, burns, among other things.
With all these qualities, perhaps the greatest of them is the remoteness that this period has with today's society. In this sense, Barbarians can be a beautiful form of escapism for spectators who just want to be distracted - or, also, a beautiful way of thinking about many issues.