Art & Entertainment

'Echo' On Disney+ Hotstar Review: Alaqua Cox Will Take Your Breath Away With Her Brilliant Deaf Superhero Act

Starring Alaqua Cox, Marvel has released a new series called 'Echo.' It follows the events that took place after 'Hawkeye.' Is the series worth watching? Or should you skip this? Read the full review to find out.

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Alaqua Cox in 'Echo'
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Ever since Marvel revealed that they would be making a series that follows the events that happened in ‘Hawkeye’, the anticipation regarding the project went off the roof for the fans. Marvel Studios released their new mini-series ‘Echo’ on January 9. Gauging by the reaction the series has garnered on social media, fans are in love with this high-octane action-filled series. As someone who isn’t a Marvel or a DC geek, I happened to watch the series without any bias. The series has left me with a lot of thoughts. Here’s all that you need to know about ‘Echo.’

‘Echo’: Story

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Maya Lopez returns to our screens after ‘Hawkeye.’ Maya has a hearing disability and a prosthetic leg. In an accident during her childhood, her leg was severely injured and had to be removed. While Maya had moved to New York City with her father, now she has to return to her hometown in Oklahoma where she faces her past. She is trained in martial arts, and she uses it to her advantage when she is chased by Wilson Fisk’s organization and his men. As she returns home, she embraces her Native American identity and connects with her family.

‘Echo’: Performances

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Before we talk about the performance, let’s take a moment to address how fantastic the casting has been for ‘Echo.’ The inclusive casting works well for the series. Seeing Native American actors play these roles drives the point home even further because they do not have to try super hard to bring out certain nuances. The casting only proves that if the makers want to make a change, they definitely can.

Let’s start with the lead actor of ‘Echo’ that is Alaqua Cox. To say that I have developed a crush on her after watching the series would be an understatement. She nailed it with every move in every frame. You just cannot take your eyes off her as she breaks bones and sometimes also deals with her vulnerability. She stands tall in every frame and commands your attention. In all of the action sequences, she glides smoothly like butter. She makes it look so effortless that you forget that it is a choreographed scene. She takes you into the action with her.

Chaske Spencer as Henry Lopez is too good to watch. His character beautifully supports Maya. What’s interesting is that he hasn’t been reduced to just another supporting character with no backstory. His role has been fleshed out well and that explains why he does certain things. His performance could have been elevated in certain places but it’s something that is absolutely needed.

Cody Lightning as Biscuits breaks the monotony with his hilarious personality. He is the comic relief in Maya’s high-octane life. Frankly speaking, he does the same for the audience. He grows on you with time. As Maya’s sidekick, he lets her take the centre stage and does not overpower her in the scenes.

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‘Echo’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

What helps ‘Echo’ is how it is suitable for almost everyone to watch. Unlike many superhero films where you need to know what happened in the previous film, you don’t need to know the past events for this series. The makers have beautifully interspersed the episodes with flashbacks from Maya’s life. This helps you connect the dots and understand the timeline of the events.

Speaking about direction and editing, each episode lasts for 35-50 minutes. In this duration, the episodes are packed with action that keeps you glued. At no point while watching the series did a scene feel overstretched. However, if you take a look from a distance, the writing feels uneven after a point. The makers have maintained the pace, but you miss the feeling you had in the first half. There is a lack of consistency and that sometimes gnaws you.

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‘Echo’ has a lot of important themes that it touches upon. Interestingly, it never came across as too preachy at any moment. It has explored these themes in depth. It doesn’t feel like the makers rushed with these themes just to make sure that they made a politically correct series. It was explored with nuance. The series picks up pace in the first episode, becomes stable in the second, remains that way for a while, and then wraps up in style. In moments when there is nothing significant happening, it feels long. But safe to say, that the series reminds you of a slow burn that often takes place in romantic films. ‘Echo’ brews slowly and it fills the air with its substance once it reaches the climax.

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In the end, seeing the sub-plots draw to a close leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction. But at the same time, it makes you crave more. The script works well and doesn’t feel stretched or fake, but that also needs to be attributed to the fine performance by the actors.

‘Echo’: Cast & Crew

Created by: Marion Dayre

Director: Sydney Freeland, Catriona McKenzie

Cast: Alaqua Cox, Chaske Spencer, Tantoo Cardinal, Charlie Cox, Devery Jacobs, Zahn McClarnon, Cody Lightning, Graham Greene, Vincent D'Onofrio

Duration: 5 episodes, 36-50 minutes each

Available On: Disney+ Hotstar

‘Echo’: Can Kids Watch It?

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No. Some scenes are violent for kids to watch and can affect them.

Outlook's Verdict

As someone who was never interested in Marvel or DC, ‘Echo’ left me wanting more. Honestly, if a show has made a non-fan into a fan that, clearly, speaks volumes. The show has its flaws but those are technical and minute. In case you are watching for an action-flick that is different and unique, you can safely pick ‘Echo’ for a weekend binge. I am going with 3.5 stars.  

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