Moon Knight episode release date and times, Trailer, Cast, Disney+Hotstar Streaming Details

Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s so-called Infinity Saga ended with Avengers: Endgame, the higher-ups at Marvel Studios have tried to make way for more diverse kind of storytelling. Particularly with the recent crop of Disney+ MCU TV shows like WandaVision, the writers and directors were allowed more freedom to craft narratives set in a more contained smaller universes — up to a point. For instance, WandaVision was literally set in its pocket dimension before the full picture emerged. Loki, similarly, took the Asgardian supervillain-turned-anti-hero to a dimension beyond all dimensions.

It was a shame that despite their stratospheric production values and having Kevin Feige as an overseer, they all ended up being either wholly terrible (Hakweye and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) or with botched finales (WandaVision and Loki).

The latest offering, Moon Knight, is the first genuinely interesting and entertaining Marvel superhero TV show so far (critics were not provided with the final two episodes). Based on the lunar-themed superhero of the same name, the show is created by Jeremy Slater and stars Oscar Isaac, who makes his MCU debut here.

The writers have altered the origin of the character in the show. While in comics, the titular hero is really a mercenary called Marc Spector, who acquires superpowers from the Egyptian moon god Khonshu, a relatively minor deity in the pantheon. He suffers from dissociative identity disorder, and has trouble distinguishing reality from hallucination.

In the show, the dominant personality of Spector is Steven Grant, a timid, soft-spoken Londoner working at a gift-shop in a museum. He lives a troubled, lonely life, believing he sleep-walkers (he ties his one leg to a post while sleeping so he would not drift off in his sleep. He is not aware of his other personalities, including Spector, and thinks the visions are a result of his mental illness.

moon knight, oscar isaac The aesthetic of Moon Knight costume is is unique and the look is mostly grounded for the simple reason that it is not drowning in CGI. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

In one of those visions, he gets transported to a village in Swiss Alps and encounters a cult leader called Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke), who seems to have magical powers and runs his own religious community, and promises salvation and eternal happiness for his flock. His ultimate aim is to resurrect Ammit, a funerary deity and demon-goddess, who the ancient Egyptians feared. Spector wants to stop him on behalf of Khonshu. Grant abhors violence and just wishes to be left alone.

Yes, it is the old gotta-save-the-world device that is the basis of nearly every superhero story. But Moon Knight’s writing is fresher and smarter than the traditional superhero story. The dynamic between the two opposing personalities feels organic and fun, even if they are a result of a serious mental condition. Grant is somebody you would want to be friends for life. Spector? You would be wary of him, while secretly wishing he would be your bodyguard. There is a clear delineation between the two alter-egos.

moon knight A still from Moon Knight. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

Isaac’s acting chops come massively handy, and witnessing this performance, or rather performances, it is easy to guess why the role appealed to an ambitious artiste like him. Hawke is reliably and often effortlessly good as Harrow, by turns charismatic and frightening.

The aesthetic and feel of Moon Knight, the superhero that is, with a ghostly white costume and orb-like unsettling eyes, is unique and the look is mostly grounded for the simple reason that it is not drowning in CGI.

Moon Knight is also not afraid to push the boundaries of that PG rating. There is certainly a lot of violence (we understandably do not see too much blood), but the show delves deep into the psyche of a mentally-ill man, the fear, the confusion, the crushing loneliness. In that regard, even though it cannot match the body count of Avengers movies, Moon Knight is the darkest story in MCU by far.

Ethan Hawke , Ethan Hawke moon knight Ethan Hawke as Arthur Harrow in Moon Knight. (Photo: Marvel Studios)

But the clincher is that so far, Moon Knight bears no discernible connection to the rest of the MCU. It is the same world, obviously, but it might well be, say, a DC TV show (if the character was owned by DC Comics, that is). There is something joyful about the interconnected quality of the franchise, but it can also be of detriment to the current story if there is a studio note mandating the presence of one or more Avengers to offer advice or there have to be random references about events occurring in past movies.

There is none of that in Moon Knight, and the free-standing, independent nature of the story, strong writing, and performances makes it far fresher and compelling than other Marvel Studios shows.

You can watch Moon Knight on Disney+ Hotstar.

Indianshri

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