Savage Beauty follows the story of Zinhle, a young woman who tries to take revenge on a leading global beauty brand. The show is currently streaming on Netflix.
Bhengu Beauty, one of the top global beauty brands, is accused of heavily altering its models’ faces, promoting an unnatural beauty standard.
To tackle this situation, the owner of the company Don Bhengu (Dumisani Mbebe), and his first wife, Grace (Nthati Moshesh), decide to allow the public to vote for the next face of Bhengu Beauty.
Zinhle (Rosemary Zimu) is selected for this role. But she isn’t just a regular model; she has an ulterior motive to be part of the Bhengu family.
Later in the series, it is revealed that Don and his wife used to test their toxic beauty products on poor children, and Zinhle was one of their victims. The products have left black scars on her face.
She hates the family for doing this to her and her sibling and wants revenge. But as she goes to live with them, nothing could prepare her for the new secrets that are about to unfold.
Rosemary Zimu, who plays the role of Zinhle, is the driving force behind the series. She perfectly plays the strong and badass character.
Nthati Moshes, who plays Grace, is an interesting character. Throughout the series, she is shown as an antagonist, but one can’t help but feel sorry for her, as she is a victim of Don. Moshes plays the role very well, but sometimes her acting comes off as a little over the top.
Despite having a very unlikable role, Dumisani Mbebe manages to impress the audience with his acting.
Thando, Don’s second wife, might be the most likeable character in the entire series. She is shown vulnerable but powerful. Angela Sithole does justice to the role with her powerful acting. It was disheartening to see her become just a pawn in Don’s and later Zinhle’s game.
Nambitha Ben-Mazwi plays the role of Linda, a very grey character. On the one hand, one can’t help but root for her and Thando, but on the other hand, she readily becomes a passive puppet for Don’s approval. This arises conflicting feelings about her. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see her reaction when she learns Zinhle’s secret.
The series raises some serious questions about the prevalent beauty standards and how damaging they are. It shows the monopoly of beauty brands and how they try to profit from women’s insecurities.
It also talks about the ill practice of testing beauty products on humans and tries to raise awareness about it.
The idea that revenge can be ugly is very fascinatingly applied in the story. Zinhle has one goal to bring Bhengu Beauty to the ground and avenge the pain she and her siblings went through. But soon, her thirst for revenge starts hurting the people she loves, making everyone question if it was even worth it.
The twists of the story are very predictable. While the story is interesting, it simply isn’t unique.
The misogyny and abuse depicted in the story are very sickening. While it is understandable that the showrunners were trying to make it realistic, there was nothing that points to the fact that it is wrong, almost normalizing the entire thing.
The colour palette and the aesthetics of the series are very inconsistent.
The show tries to cover a lot of issues at once, resulting in a very rushed story. Some of the topics are not given enough attention, making the effort seem insincere.
The ending of the series almost felt anti-climactic and very rushed. The end was understandably left open for season 2, but a little more insight into the new dynamics and how the characters felt would’ve been interesting.
While it raises some questions about important issues, Savage Beauty is a generic show about revenge. The twists become predictable after one point. Despite this, the constant drama keeps the audience hooked, making the show watchable.
Also Read: Savage Beauty summary and ending explained