A quarter of a century after the publication of the book and twenty years after the film, “High Fidelity” is back as a series, in a lifted version that sticks to the mind of the author Nick Hornby.
During the 25 years between the release of the book and that of the series, put online Friday on the Hulu platform in the United States, the universe of the disc and music, central elements of “High Fidelity”, knew a revolution.
Ironically, as British writer and screenwriter Nick Hornby pointed out in a column published by Rolling Stone magazine, vinyl, which everyone thought was doomed in 1995, is on the verge of surviving the CD.
The 33 rpm record store, the hub of the book in London and of the film in Chicago, therefore seems perfectly out of place in the Brooklyn of 2020.
Scriptwriters Sarah Kucserka and Veronica West, joined by Nick Hornby along the way, have given a modern twist to this story of white 30-year-olds by replacing it with a mixed-race and bisexual heroine.
Zoë Kravitz, daughter of singer Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet who acted in the feature film, plays a convincing Rob (nickname Robin), whose melancholy and inspired nonchalance are very reminiscent of the original character.
The dialogues are removed enough to allow the “fourth wall” to fall, the one that separates the actor from the viewer, and to address the first to the second.
In 1995, the “nerd” culture – that of the ultra-passionate – was emerging but still marginal. In 2020, it is omnipresent and dominant, from “Star Wars” to “Game of Thrones”.
No wonder, then, to see today a thirty obsessed with music, records, and playlists, like Rob, owner of the store Championship Vinyl.
The supporting roles flesh out this series of ten episodes even if the joyful madness of Jack Black, the revelation of the feature film, is sometimes lacking.
There remained the pitfall of the soundtrack itself, a quarter of a century later.
With the help of Questlove, drummer, and co-founder of the hip-hop group The Roots, the production succeeded in this journey back in time, sensibly integrating current music, especially rap.
“High Fidelity” is betting on joining a universe rather than hanging on to the rhythm, even if it means being content with a light scenario, with no parallel stories.
Produced for Hulu, a subsidiary of Disney, the series does not yet officially have a French broadcaster.