MARE OF EASTTOWN (2021) – Small quiet town with lots of skeletons in the closet


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Mare is the name of the main character in this 7 episodes HBO TV series, a detective in a small town investigating a series of missing young girls, including the murder of one of them. Academy Award winner Kate Winslet plays Mare and is undoubtedly the star of the series and main reason for watching.

The character of Mare is a complex one. She has a flawed personality, with a family tragedy that she is still struggling to come to terms with. Her dedication to her craft is however unquestionable and hence her relentlessness to resolve the missing and murdered girls mystery. In the process we are introduced to a rather big number of supporting characters that would somehow be linked in the plot web.

Mare of Easttown falls under the category of realistic drama. Its characters are portrayed in a true to life manner in the manner they speak, behave and in their imperfections. It takes its time introducing the characters, and in telling the story. This may be a turn off to some viewers as I do find many people today have limted attention and interest span. Nevertheless I think the pacing here is in line with the overall theme and feel of the series. Its disseemingly laid back lazy small town atmosphere that hides so many terrible secrets that soon begin to unravel themselves as the plot thickens.

Of the many supporting characters, two stood out for me. Evan Peters whom we often see in American Horror Story, as Mare’s co-detective, and Guy Pearce as Mare’s love interest. Evan Peters manages to hold his own with Kate Winslet and their rocky partnership on screen is always a highlight. Guy Pearce’s character is probably the weakest in the whole show. His sole purpose appears to be to appear in regular intervals only to purr romantic stuff to Mare. Despite his rather one dimensional character, Guy is a great performer and manages to make himself memorable in the midst of all the other dramatics and powerhouse performances from the rest of the assemble cast. At the end of the day, its still very much Kate Winslet’s show and she shows us a character that is most unlike what I have seen her done before. Her vulnerability amd personal struggles comes across as believable and realistic. It is an award winning performance.

I liked the way the crime was eventually solved. It reminded me of what the recent Denzel Washington movie “The Little Things” was trying to explain. That we need to look out for the “little things” in providing the clues to the mystery. Mare of Easttown demonstrates this concept far more effectively that “The Little Things” did.

With the success of the series, there is always talk about the possibility of a follow-up. This is unlikely given the proper closure that the series has given, leaving our main characters in a better place than they have started. So, catch this series as a one of a kind crime drama that doesn’t resort to the cliched vulgarities of today’s movies. You will be unlikely to get a repeat act.

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