But summertime is the time to watch what's easily accessible, and there is Bill Pullman in there, who I do like. Very much.
I binged the show, sucked in by the hypnotic, suggestive patterns of the wallpaper and dark, grungy song that set Cora Tannetti into a murderous rage. The telling of the story is not a straight procedural, because you know from the beginning whodunnit - you've seen it with your own eyes. It is crystal clear from the moment the show opens that something is wrong with Cora, and the tension of the film comes from the out-of-the-blue nature of her crime. Our sense of human nature tells us that nobody just up and kills someone for no reason, so Detective Ambrose (Pullman) becomes hell-bent on figuring out why she would do such a thing.
The splicing of the current investigation with Cora's recurring visions, hypnotic trances, and returning memories was masterful. Lots of things were bothersome - not necessarily new to me, but very bothersome nonetheless - an abusive zealot for a mother, an opportunistic, exploitative boyfriend, a manipulative sister, drugs, sex, coverups...you get the idea. But all were shown with a sharp, deliberate hand that painted the most sinister image possible with these bits and pieces. There was a darkness that I felt was akin to the unease produced by Buffalo Bill in his few scenes from Silence of the Lambs. I felt the power of these images and memories without being able to put them all together for myself until the end, and that made the realization that there was in fact a reason, and we're on a journey to find it immensely rewarding. The way in which the characters react to all these events, both in the past and the present, showed the darkest sides of human nature at almost every turn, and it cast an oppressively hard, desperate, sickening pall over the whole show.
There were some tangential things that weren't as appealing, but they took up so little time that I didn't feel the story was bogged down by them. The biggest example was the relationship between Dt. Ambrose and his wife -I understand why that was put in there, but I didn't need that. It didn't add to the story for me, except towards the end, where we get a hint of rationale for Ambrose's behavior, and it connects him to Cora in a way that explains his drive to get to the bottom of her situation.
I understand that the second season is a different storyline, but if the aesthetic and/or the mission of storytelling is anything like this season, it will be something you don't want to miss. So if you're into dark, high-minded thrillers, don't miss this one.
K Rating: 4/5
|That's not at all suggestive...0_0|