Mare of Easttown Review: Kate Winslet is on fire in the series that is a marriage between class acting and sincere writing
The show is the perfect crime drama
Rose from Titanic is not the same anymore. The soft, ruby-red lips are now a bit chapped. Her fascinating face now has a fair share of wrinkles. The blue eyes have seen more than just an iceberg. Rose doesn’t wear a corset anymore.
She in fact roams around in comfortable t-shirts, shirts, pants, heavy boots and a layered jacket. She makes love without being bothered about her body and actually asks her date, “Do I look like a grandmother?”
She’s more herself, more relatable, more beautiful and more enticing. Rose is now, Mare of Easttown.
Mare of Easttown could have been nominated for the biggest awards if it were a film. That’s not to say that it won’t win Emmy and other TV nominations. Winslet is on fire in the series on HBO Max, which is about a suburb of Philadelphia, where a detective named Mare Sheehan investigates the recent murder of a teenage mother while trying to keep her own life from falling apart. Mare is a local hero, having been the star of a high-school basketball championship game 25 years ago. She has also been unable to solve the case of another missing young girl for a year, leading many in the community to doubt her detective skills. Her personal troubles include a divorce, a son lost to suicide, and an ex-heroin addict former daughter-in-law battling for custody of Mare’s grandson.
Evan Peters compliments Kate as Detective Colin Zabel, while you realise that deliberately or indeliberately, writer Brad Ingelsby has managed to write one of the finest women-centric series we’ve probably ever watched as the OTT generation.
The show is directed by Craig Zobel who has previously helmed Westworld, American Gods and The Leftovers.
Mare of Easttown is a marriage between class acting and sincere writing, which blended together, make for a perfect concoction of a crime drama. The twists, turns and unpredictability of the show is mostly based on the old testament of writing crime dramas, but what makes them more watchable, is the synergy that the rest of the characters - the supporting cast infuses into the intense performance by Winslet.
When she walks with a wound in her foot, you as an audience will feel the hurt. When she navigates through the plethora of issues in her personal life that’s falling apart while she investigates the missing cases of three girls in the town, you almost feel proud of Kate, the actor who pulls the show off on her shoulders, reminding you of the incredible journey she’s made from being James Cameron’s muse to being a detective.
Mare of Easttown also reminds you of Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, more like it’s an extension of what could have happened in the future of Nicole and Charlie’s life post separation. The quintessential formulaic nuances of writing a crime thriller work well here.
The series, unlike many other dramas, is not open-ended. Every character gets a closure in Mare of Easttown, including Mare, who comes to terms with her grief and solves cases which no one thought she’d ever be able to crack.
The show doesn’t stereotype women like 99 percent of shows have done so far. It’s imperative to visit Winslet’s famous interview with the New York Times where she said, “Listen, I hope that in playing Mare as a middle-aged woman – I will be 46 in October – I guess that’s why people have connected with this character in the way that they have done because there are clearly no filter.”
That makes Winslet the most realistic and unfabricated female actor of these times. By the end of the series, you’ll feel fatigued, emotionally exhausted, yet heavily entertained, because Kate becomes Mare, and then you forget she’s Kate after all.
The director and cinematographer give OTT content, one of its best moments in the past many months, where a character closes its arc in the most cinematic and effective way possible in Mare of Easttown. In the final scene, she finally dares to open the attic where her son committed suicide. And as Mare climbs up the ladder, her ascension into the world of acceptance that she’s got to move above and forward, makes for an incredible watch.
“Rose from Titantic is long gone and Mare is here to stay.”
Director : Craig Zobel
Cast: Kate Winslet, Julianne Nicholson, Jean Smart, Angourie Rice, Guy Pearce, Evan Peters.
Now streaming on HBO Max.