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Home TV Shows Reviews ‘Mare of Easttown’ Series Review: Equally Drab and Riveting, Claustrophobic & Caustic

‘Mare of Easttown’ Series Review: Equally Drab and Riveting, Claustrophobic & Caustic

The Kate Winslet-starring HBO miniseries ponders the double horror of peaking in high school and homicide

Ritika Kispotta - Sun, 23 May 2021 11:24:46 +0100 2937 Views
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Written and created by Brad Ingelsby and directed by Craig Zobel, the new HBO miniseries ‘Mare of Easttown’ is set in a Pennsylvania town. The series is both a crime thriller and an intimate picture of narrow city life through the eyes of Kate Winslet’s tired police investigator called Mare Sheehan. Easttown is a desolate, poor place, full of overlapping sorrow. As the small, compact community’s police investigator, Mare sees and deals with most of them. Drug and alcohol addiction is common among people. One of the earliest scenes shows Mare attending the scene of housebreaking – another theft, we understand – at the house of a woman called Beth Hanlon. It is her brother, Freddie (Dominique Johnson), on the look for things to sell for his next fix.


Kate Winslet is enchanting as Mare. The actor has shown herself to not be antipathetically to take up tough and unglamorous roles if they are exigent enough. And Mare is as promising as it gets. The character is written with an enormous abyss and cares about intricate inspirations and attributes. Winslet’s performance as Mare does something rare: making Mare feel like a real person and not merely a character in a narrative. The rest of the actors are outstanding as well, with Jean Smart, who was previously seen in HBO’s ‘Watchmen’, once again giving different actors a run for their money despite her restricted screen-time.


Everyone is familiar with each other in Easttown, which makes Mare fascinating as its central heroine. Those who ask for her help are mostly friends of friends, and people committing crimes are also friends of friends. So Mare, by growing up in Easttown, already has an idea of people who seems suspicious. And even in spite of shielding her friends and the place she grew up in, she typically struggles to see humanity beyond the scope of the law.


As the complications of the cases are disclosed, it becomes a show greater than what was expected. By the time you get to the exposition at the end of the second episode, you are less surprised by the news itself than you are by the estimation of what it will mean for all involved. Everything and everyone seems real and you get concerned about every minute detail.


What makes ‘Mare of Easttown’ work is how contradictory it is from HBO’s alluring, reputed crime mystery offerings of late like ‘The Undoing’ and ‘Big Little Lies,’ Nicole Kidman acted in both. But the show’s also had more similarities than just Kidman. They were both about the charismatic lives of very good-looking, very wealthy women encircled by sociopaths, unhappily married couples, and homicide. Their privileged lives complete with luxurious homes, fancy coats, and lavish handbags were part of the shows’ appeal; the women’s well-furnished kitchens, gorgeous fashion, and lives full of unreal richness matched their degree of emotional horror and turbulence.


‘Mare of Easttown’ is accurate to its name, outstretched into a history about a woman who has spent a lot of time trying to avoid her past and her commitment towards the town that raised her. If I were a friend of Mare, I’d suggest getting out of Easttown, because opening up previous wounds over and over again doesn’t appear healthy. However, I don’t recognize if she’d be ready to thrive on the far side of its borders, since such a lot of this Pennsylvania town is encrypted into her life. She doesn’t know any other way.


Hence, her desperation to unravel the case is strong, perhaps even meanly, ingrained with the hope that if she is successful, it’ll rectify the other parts of her life. And though we have the tendency to all recognize higher than that, it’s still enchanting to look at her strive.


‘Mare of Easttown’ isn’t for everybody except for those who don’t mind a dreary tone for a few solid scripts, character work, acting, and a robust, granularly elaborated sense of place in their murder mysteries, it’s onerous to travel wrong with ‘Mare of Easttown’.


Final Score – [9/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)

 

 

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