Mental health problems affect around 1 in 4 people in any given year. From social anxiety to depression, all the way through to psychotic breaks; our brains are incredible instruments for our success and can be saboteurs to our own downfall. One of the greatest failings in our lifetime is how little is actually understood about this. And that’s to say nothing of the social stigma around things like depression. I mean, how many people have been depressed and heard “Cheer up, you have nothing to be sad about!”
Way back in 1962, Ken Kesey wrote the acclaimed novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, before the excellent movie adaptation with Jack Nicholson. For those unaware of either, the story explores the human mind and gives a scathing critique of psychiatry. Everything Calls for Salvation then, feels like a natural extension of that, exploring these themes across 7 heartfelt and gut-wrenching episodes.
This Italian Netflix series is an easy one to binge, although the first half does take a while to get going as you’re introduced to all the different characters. However, stick with this as it’s paid off beautifully late on in the game.
Our protagonist here is Daniele, a wild child who does drugs and drinks the weekends away. After stumbling home and passing out on his bed, he wakes up in a psychiatric ward (PTDW) with no knowledge of what’s happened or how he got there. With his family angry at him for some reason and Dani forced to spend 7 days there for treatment, our main character struggles to adjust.
Each of the chapters are broken up into each of the 7 days and what begins as reluctance and disgust soon turns to genuine love and affection. Joining Dani for this journey are a group of characters that have big personalities – and big hearts. There’s Gianluca, Madonnina, Giorgio and Mario, as well as Nina who happens to be in adjacent ward. I won’t reveal much about them here as one of the better parts of this show comes from exploring these supporting players.
There are a few really beautiful moments in here too and a couple of proper tear-jerking moments. These little golden moments add up across the season, leading to a gut-wrenching penultimate episode and a good finale to top things off.
Visually, Everything Calls for Salvation is pretty good too and the flashbacks are well worked into the series alongside some neat montages. The series also knows when to hit the brakes with its music, as bites of silence during crucial parts of the story work just as effectively.
Ultimately though, this is a well written and heartfelt Italian series. Although it’s a little slow to begin with, if you’re willing to stick it out for the long haul, this Netflix series will tug at your heartstrings. This is definitely one of the bigger surprises this year and well worth a watch.
Verdict - 8/10