'Being the Ricardos' Review: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's tale of love and trauma

'Being the Ricardos' owes its success mostly to the crisp writing and the cast it's roped in.


                            'Being the Ricardos' Review: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's tale of love and trauma
Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in a still from 'Being the Ricardos' (Amazon Prime Video)
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Aaron Sorkin returns with another masterpiece. His 'Being the Ricardos' suits around America's sweetheart, Lucille Ball, now made immortal on-screen by Nicole Kidman. In his attempt to give an in-depth look at how the CBS head honchos, her husband Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) and the set of 'I Love Lucy' reacted after the era's infamous tabloid figure Walter Winchell subtly dropped a grenade saying Ball was a registered member of the Communist Party.

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Kidman's Ball is shrewd, no-hold-barred, sexy, convincing and at best is assured as the legendary actress. Padded up with her is Bardem's Arnaz, whose chutzpah and power makes for an enjoyable watch. Sorkin doesn't waste much time on pleasantries, he doesn't have to. Ball's communist story blew up America and the film navigates the tumultuous week in the couple's lives after the news breaks, while also shedding light on their relationship and TVbiz.

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'Being the Ricardos' owes its success mostly to the crisp writing and the cast it's roped in. Alia Shawkat’s Madelyn Pugh and Jake Lacy’s Bob Carroll, William Frawley, and Vivian Vance (played by J K Simmons and Nina Arianda) play their roles to absolute perfection. The Ball-Arnaz relationship is unique and the former's attention to detail is on full display. One of the segments sees her flip when it comes to nailing the intricacies — the positioning of the table, the dialogue delivery, and most importantly, the physical comedy.

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With a runtime of over two hours, the quasi biopic takes time and gets to the main part at its own pace. The news of her reportedly being a communist stand the ripple effects of that news on the studio. One of the bigger achievements that Sorkin deserves praise for is for exploring Ball's psyche where she sees how the episode unfolds. The pregnancy storyline just propels Ball as one of those actors with radical thinking and bold enough to push for showing a pregnant woman on Television.

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What makes the film enjoyable is the simplicity. All that raged and made the characters more celluloid was brought in a more relatable fashion. Kidman delivers an astounding performance as Ball while Bardem, torn between Cuban machismo and love for the US, is an absolute rockstar. J K Simmons shows his versatility as Frawley and just adds to the film's brilliance. We'll give this a 4/5/

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'Being the Ricardos' is available on Amazon Prime Video.