Walter Tevis’ novel, written in 1983, gained some popularity among English-speaking readers of the time. The book sold quite well, but in the end, all Tevis fans became fed up with the repeatedly re-read plot, the book began to “slow down”. The director of Marley & Me, the screenwriter of Logan Scott Frank took up the film adaptation of the novel. Initially, they planned to release one or two films based on the plot of a literary work, but Frank came to the conclusion that the story needed to be told as fully as possible and supplemented with professional direction. So the series was born, consisting of seven episodes. The story tells of an orphan boy who discovers his great abilities in a game called chess.
A reference to Scott Frank’s The Queen’s Gambit
The 1950s was the period of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, which drew many countries of the world into the well-known arms race. The protagonist of the series and the work of the same name is a chess prodigy. From the first to the seventh episodes, it tells about his life and fate from the age of 8 to the entry of a young man into adulthood.
The beautiful Anna Taylor-Joy, whom we know from The New Mutants, took part in the filming. She was invited to the cast by executive producer Alan Scott, who wrote the script for The Witches. Anna plays one of the key characters in the events taking place on the screen – Beth Harmon. Throughout the episodes, her role in the storyline is rather controversial: addiction and sexism are mixed in her with the highest ambitions. The chess genius aspires to the title of champion.
In the early fifties, Beth ends up in an orphanage located in Kentucky. Doctors at home give her sedatives, explaining their effect as beneficial for the girl’s state of health. In fact, these turn out to be tranquilizers, from which Anna becomes addicted – this will directly affect her difficult fate. Winning competition after competition, the girl understands her destiny in chess. However, the complexity of her potential career is a tradition of the chess community of the time. The predominant contingent of men in the game cannot calmly look at Anna beating them.
The path of a chess careerist leads Beth to the reigning world champion of that time – Soviet professional Vasily Borgov. A fight with such an opponent should go down in history, and the girl understands that she simply has to show the maximum, revealing her talent to the fullest. But she cannot fight with an opponent not at all because of the organization of the tournament – the girl’s constantly emerging dependence on alcohol and drugs cannot leave her path without certain problems.
Will Anna be able to overcome herself? Will she be able to take on the reigning champion and show what she is truly capable of? The series finale reveals the plot’s outcome.
The penultimate series – our “chess queen” meets with Vasily Borgov in a chess confrontation. Having spent the night before the tournament drunk, she cannot coordinate her actions, think over moves in advance – a simple hangover affects. The girl loses.
Defeat introduces Anna into the deepest psychological crisis. Beth’s depression is due to the morbid state of her psyche, shattered by alcohol and drugs.
The next character in the dramatic story, a friend of a chess player named Jolene, turns out to be there just in time. She helps the girl get rid of the addiction that torments the latter and does not allow Beth to reveal her abilities. Anna is coming out of a severe depression: now she is already changed and ready to take on a chess battle with the world champion.
The Meaning of Scott Frank’s The Queen’s Gambit Series Finale
Outside in 1968. Anna Taylor-Joy arrives in the Soviet Union to fight for the honorary title of winner of the Tournament of Champions in Moscow. The girl understands herself and finds that drugs and alcohol are not at all a source of inspiration, as she used to think, but the root of evil that gives rise to her state of insanity at critical moments. Now Beth relies only on her strength, her intellect and, of course, her talent.
The main character wins the fight. She becomes the world champion and realizes that all this time she was supported by friends and even former rivals. Such an optimistic finale shows the viewers the main point of the series: do not give up and do not let troubles build barriers to your goal, and then you will catch the “wind of luck”.