Mare of Easttown
Set in a small town in Pennsylvania, Mare of Easttown takes us through the lives of the people in a close-knit community which get thrown into chaos in the face of a local tragedy.
Mare(Kate Winslet), is the shrewd and headstrong local detective who mostly tends to domestic disputes and false alarms in her professional life, whilst trying to hold together her fairly complicated personal life. She’s a divorcee living with her mother, her teenage daughter and grandson under one roof, with her ex-husband husband living just across her yard. A less than ideal living situation. The series touches on other lives in the community, giving us a peek into their lifestyles and how they are all intertwined. As the focus shifts from character to character, the viewer is left speculating on which one of them will be at the receiving end of an unfortunate event.
The writing and photography do immense justice to the backdrop, creating a dull, pale, and bleak winter palette that is so characteristic of the northeast. As much as one would like to credit this to filming in location in Easttown, a few miles west of Philadelphia, it is in fact the immaculate details that are to be lauded for it. The cast delivers a stellar performance, complete with the trademark Pennsylvanian accent. Angouri Rice is convincing as the troubled but responsible teenage daughter. Fans of the office will remember David Denman as the ever so charming Roy, who is almost unrecognizable as the ex-husband. Jean Smart is as brilliant as always and brings some welcome comic relief to an otherwise unforgiving world. Her portrayal of a loving and distraught caregiver is infallible, and it’s hard not to watch her when she’s in the frame. Evan Peters as detective Zabel is vulnerable is a charming way. Julianne Nicolson is commendable as the loyal best friend. The ensemble cast only elevates Winslet’s performance, whose rendition of a no-nonsense, impulsive, and flawed individual is phenomenal. Despite some of her less likeable qualities, the viewer is left feeling for her as she strives to solve a new case in the wake of an old one, all in the shadow of a personal adversity. Her Mare is so layered and complex that we are once again reminded why she’s regarded as one of the finest actors of her generation.
Invested viewers might find fault in the in the romantic angles that are sprinkled throughout the plot, but this only furthers strengthens Mare’s character as human and relatable. They might perhaps get distracted by the mundane parallel happenings in the community, but this further establishes how interwoven this small town is. This is a classic whodunit, sprinkled with unpredictable plot twists and heart wrenching performances. Watch it for the writing, storytelling, and cinematography, but most of all watch it for Kate Winslet, who shines like a star through the darkness that unfolds around her.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.