The guests of Tranquillum House are unnerved by creepy wellness guru Masha (Picture: Hulu)
Warning: spoilers ahead for Nine Perfect Strangers.
Nicole Kidman has entranced TV viewers with her latest project Nine Perfect Strangers, playing the part of mysterious wellness retreat owner Masha Dmitrichenko.
In the show, Masha welcomes nine guests to Tranquillum House, where they undergo individual journeys of self-discovery while taking part in highly unorthodox methods dictated by the health resort.
The show is based on the book of the same name by Liane Moriarty, who also wrote Big Little Lies, the acclaimed TV series that Nicole starred in and produced alongside Reese Witherspoon.
While some Nine Perfect Strangers viewers may be entering the world of Tranquillum for the first time, for those familiar with the original source material, they will instantly spot some major differences between the TV show and the book.
The sound of silence
In the first episode of the Nine Perfect Strangers TV series, some of the characters bump into each as they’re making their way to Tranquillum House, including Carmel (Regina Hall) and Lars (Luke Evans) in a wine store and Frances (Melissa McCarthy) and Tony (Bobby Cannavale) on the road.
Masha has her guests take part in extremely unusual activities (Picture: Hulu)
Their tense interactions continue as they arrive at the resort, as the participants of the wellness programme fail to see eye to eye on several occasions.
However, this is extremely different to how the story plays out at the start of the novel, as the guests take part in a five-day ‘quiet period’ at the beginning of their stay.
While this may have been difficult to portray in a TV show, with character interactions necessary for the development of the narrative, it could have been fascinating to watch unfold.
Masha’s near-death experience
Masha is somewhat of a mystery to the guests when they are first introduced to the health guru at Tranquillum in the TV show, as she glides into the room, taking them all aback.
Who is threatening Masha in the TV series? (Picture: Vince Valitutti/Hulu)
As Masha gets to know her guests on a deeper level, they also learn more about her, finding out that she used to be a high-strung businesswoman who almost died when she was shot in the chest.
However, in the book, Masha’s near-death experience occurs when she suffers a seizure.
What’s more, one of the biggest question marks of the TV adaptation surrounds the threatening messages that Masha has been receiving – which do not occur in the novel.
Change of scenery
While Nine Perfect Strangers was filmed in Australia, the health retreat is actually set somewhere in North America.
This is an intriguing change to the book, considering it was originally set in Australia, where the novel’s author is from.
Furthermore, Tranquillum in the TV show is designed with a very contemporary aesthetic, while in the book, it was supposed to look more like an old-fashioned Victorian mansion.
Notable character changes
As is often the case with book-to-screen adaptations, several of the ensemble cast’s character attributes have been tweaked.
Tranquillum might be a peculiar place, but it sure is beautiful (Picture: Hulu)
For starters in the book, Tony – who is a former American football player in the show – is an Australian football star, does not have an addiction to painkillers and did not accidentally kill a man during an altercation in a bar.
Carmel and Lars do not share an awkward first interaction in a wine store on their way to Tranquillum, nor does Carmel lunge at Lars across the breakfast table in violent fury.
In the recently-released episodes, it’s revealed that Lars is an undercover journalist, but in the book he’s a family lawyer who goes on wellness retreats regularly.
What’s more, unlike in the TV show, the Marconi family do not join the retreat after receiving a large discount, nor does Masha already know about the death of their son prior to their stay.
The gruesome goat sacrifice
One of the most dramatic moments of the show so far came in episode three, when Masha’s pet goat was killed and eaten by the group in a lavish feast.
This gruesome sacrifice was solely created for the TV series, as no goat was slaughtered in the story told in the book.
Nine Perfect Strangers is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
Credit: Original article published here.