If you haven’t read my previous reviews of Naomi Osaka, click below for my thoughts.
After last week’s episode, I was expecting Bradley to go full-force this episode, and he did not disappoint. Covering the tragic murder of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Osaka’s role in it all, Bradley does a great job at giving all the subjects of the episode ample time for the viewer to care about the social issues at hand so that when Osaka’s role is revealed, the emotional impact hits the viewer (pardon the pun) harder than Osaka’s serve.
No matter what somebody does, as an immigrant in Japan, you are never fully Japanese.
Deserving of special mention is the footage of Naomi Osaka versus Victoria Azarenka at the 2020 US Open – Women’s Singles championship game. Osaka’s comeback from the first half of the game feels personal for her. At least, that’s the sense I got after Osaka screaming “come on!” after every successful point and breakneck serves. It’s not about some silly trophy for her. It’s a symbol of something greater.
In this episode, both the cinematography by Nelson as well as the score take a back seat, for some reason. I don’t know if it was to make room for Osaka’s cell phone footage and game footage, but I missed both team’s contributions to the docuseries this episode.
In just three episodes, Garrett Bradley has served up (again, sorry for the pun) one of the most unique documentaries I’ve seen this year and all-time.
The three-part docuseries, Naomi Osaka, premieres on Netflix on July 16th.
Until next time!