It is a common truth that dusty American cities are the saddest places in the world. The environment appears in all colors, smiles are forced, emotions are insincere, and everyone is always gloomy for some reason.
Or at least that’s what Hollywood murders almost always tell us.
Craig Zoble is the director and Brad Inglesby is the writer and creator of Mare of Easttown. This is a new HBO miniseries based in Pennsylvania. The series is a crime thriller and an intimate portrait of small-town life through the eyes of Kate Winslet police detective Mare Sheehan.
No nonsense, don’t make police custody. Mare is tough and duly knows how to deal with difficult situations and rebellious people. Her son died by suicide several years ago, and he was looking after his young son while his mother was recovering from drug addiction at a rehab center. Divorced, her ex-husband got engaged and rubbed salt. Into the metaphorical wound of her. Her new place is right behind her. Our hero is sick.
The town of Mare, nicknamed Easttown, is small enough to be a place everyone knows. I was shocked by the disappearance of a girl a year ago. Now the girl’s mother, who desperately needs some detention, speaks impartially about the insecurity of law enforcement to the media. The case is reopened to the horror of Mare. Who believes after every chance that the girl will never be found.
Meanwhile, one morning a young girl. She was found dead with a gunshot wound to her head. The night before, she was attacked by the boyfriend. Of her jealous ex-boyfriend and the father of her child. Everything is on video. The investigation is ongoing.
A district detective burdens Mare to assist him. In what is believed to be related to the previous year’s disappearance?
Mare of Easttown shares characteristics of many of the other productions in its genre. Like many detective stories in a small town, this story is gritty, gloomy, and has a piercing gray tint to convey despair, as if the events happening right before the viewer’s eyes were somehow not enough. Sometimes it can be too much.
If you make it through the melancholy and conventional plots, the series is entirely addicting. The story unfolds neatly in a deliberately rushed episode. As previously mentioned, the story consists of many interwoven threads, but the plot is large and very consistent.
Kate Winslet is just as magnetic as Mare. The actor has shown that he doesn’t mind taking on challenging and glamorous roles if they are challenging enough. And Mare is just as challenging. These characters are written very deeply. And also pays attention to motivation and complex traits. Winslet’s appearance in the role did something rare: Mare felt like a living, breathing person, not just a character in the story.
The rest of the cast is also quite excellent. Gene Smart, who previously starred in HBO’s bodyguard, allowed other actors to chase down their money despite limited screen time.
Mare of Easttown isn’t for everyone. But for those who don’t mind the gloomy tone of solid writing, character work, acting skills, and a robust and detailed feel about their place in a crime thriller, it’s hard to go wrong with Mare of Easttown.