In this age of widespread capitalism and corporate culture, Apple TV+’s Severance’s timing of release couldn’t have been more perfect. The series, directed and produced by Ben Stiller, depicts employees of a strange company called Lumon Industries undertake a contentious process known as “severance” which involves separating an individual’s work and personal memories. Those who have been severed don’t have any reminiscence of their private lives when they are working, subsequently creating two versions of themselves. The protagonist of Severance named Mark is among the countless ordinary people who went through this procedure which internalised the concept of being corporate slave in their brain. As soon as it is 5 pm, they all forget about what they were doing earlier. Their work selves is known as “innies” whereas their home selves is called “outies”. Having the process after the demise of his wife in order to escape the anguish, Mark’s sister and brother-in-law don’t approve of it.
There is a scene where the protagonist bumps into a worried man named Petey who says he is Mark’s friend and has managed to “un-sever” his brain. Petey warns him about Lumon Industries’s sinister motives. One of the striking characters is Irving who happened to be a colleague of the protagonist and never hesitates to remind Mark that he must not question the boss’s orders. Dylan is one of the characters who is full of aspirations and is proud of the many records he has made in the office which led to him receiving several perks. But when a new employee named Helly arrives with her sharp skills , she starts questioning the environment Lumon Industries has inculcated, which is outright submission. Helly’s character is responsible for causing change in the office’s state of affairs and make her colleagues uncover mysteries concerning Lumon Industries. What appear like coding on the computer could be part of something bigger. Almost every employee is taught not to ask too many questions and always keep their head down although Helly tries her best to draw attention to the bizzare rules. Word of her defiant endeavors reaches to the unsevered superiors particularly to the top executive Harmony Cobel whose dedication to Lumon is similar to piety. The recurring glances we get in the company’s ominous intentions make this series a must watch. However, instead of entirely depicting only negativity, Severance also offers a positive side when a friendship takes places between Irving and Burt G.
Therefore, Severance is an original concept judging by the storyline although it resembles a little bit of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but one aspect which sets it apart is the remarkable direction by Ben Stiller and Aoife Mcardle. The most absorbing aspect of Severance is the multiple overwhelming issues of morality, consent, willingness and manipulation it tries to address and the viewers will get to see that even the most submissive individuals would long for autonomy.