The new Star + platform came to the Latin American streaming market ready to make a place in this region with an offering focused on adults, unlike its sister service Disney + and the most recent competition, read HBO Max and Paramount +. Therefore, it is not surprising that among its titles is “A Teacher” (a teacher), a production originally made by FX for Hulu that dares to expose the relationship between a high school teacher and one of her students.
Created by the American screenwriter and director Hannah Fidell, it is inspired by the eponymous film that she made in 2013, where she showed for the first time the story of the attractive teacher who seduces a young man about to turn 18 in her 30s. Therefore, it is not surprising that both the series and the feature film have divided public opinion when they were released, although in the case of the version for the small screen it has attracted even more attention.
The series exhibits over 10 chapters, starring Kate Mara (“Pose”) and Nick Robinson (“Love, Simon”), who play Claire Wilson and Eric Walter, a plot that is initially set in 2013, when she begins to work as a teacher of English – or Literature as it is translated – at the fictional Westerbrook School, in Austin, Texas. In the establishment she has among her students the students who are already part of the last year of secondary school.
The introduction of the protagonists of the story and the request that changes everything
However, the thirty-year-old Claire is shown by the story shortly before meeting her new students, when she goes to the first official meeting with her colleagues and quickly becomes friends with one of them, Kathryn Sanders (Marielle Scott), who teaches French. From there he is seen shopping at the supermarket and then at the house where she lives with her husband Matt Mitchell (Ashley Zuckerman), with whom they are trying to be parents.
After this introduction of its protagonist, which includes a detail at that time not very important about his personality -which is to steal a lipstick in the supermarket-, comes the moment that marks minute zero of the plot: when he appears before the course of advanced literature of which Nick is part, a 17-year-old boy who, like his friends, is surprised by how young and attractive his new teacher is, whom he sees again that same day in the cafeteria where he works in the afternoon.
It is here where Claire and Nick start a conversation where it comes to light that she studied at the University of Texas, which coincidentally is the place that since childhood he has dreamed of attending, but for the moment he sees almost impossible to specify because two Sometimes he has failed the SAT exam, which allows entry to higher education in the US For this reason, the boy does not hesitate to ask the new teacher for help to be his tutor outside of class and prepare him for that test.
The intentional beginning of the prohibited relationship between teacher and student
From that moment on, the teacher and the student not only see each other at school, but also outside of it for reinforcement classes, giving the foot to deepen a more personal relationship between them. It starts off with smiles, with her asking him to tell Claire out of high school, following her on social media and even offering her to tour the University of Texas. Until, as the least detailed viewer already assumed all this, he kisses her, leaving Claire unsettled.
The scene does not last long and goes from that kiss to furtive encounters in the teacher’s car, where she enjoys sexual relations that she has not achieved for a while with her husband. And the ones she had already fantasized about when she first met Nick, so in Claire’s case, the look this forbidden relationship takes is more intentional than untimely. That is why it is difficult to empathize with her, no matter how much the boy turns 18 in the middle of the story.
This adds to the little depth of its secondary characters and makes “A Teacher” an unconventional, but at the same time something gray and risky narrative bet. Although it exposes a problem that occurs more than is imagined in today’s world, it does not offset its negative consequences by not presenting a clear condemnation of this type of case. Where the importunate action of Claire, which was due to the same impulsiveness that led her to steal the lipstick, receives a punishment that does not seem to make her reconsider, while the trauma in Eric does not heal either.
Original title: A Teacher
Director: Hannah Fidell, Andrew Neel, Gillian Robespierre
Duration: 22-31 minutes
With: Kate Mara, Nick Robinson, Ashley Zukerman, Shane Harper, Marielle Scott, Dylan Schmid, Adam David Thompson, Jana Peck
Screenplay: Hannah Fidell, Rosa Handelman, Boo Killebrew, Andrew Neel, Dana Kitchens, Ruby Rae Spiegel
Song: Keegan DeWitt
Production: Leslie Cowan, David Kirchner, Andrew Neel
Web: See here
Release date: August 31, 2021
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A Teacher | TELEVITOS