Critical Condition: Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects | SoHo, 1.00/8.30 Monday

➢ “Like the Gillian Flynn novel it’s based on, HBO’s Sharp Objects is a fascinating fake-out. It’s a murder mystery, but its main character isn’t a detective. She isn’t even necessarily an especially good journalist. The law enforcement characters are secondary, and the case they’re pursuing is light on enriching clues and heavy on unreliable witnesses. It takes little time to realise that any effort to unravel the crime is wasted; our heroine is the conundrum that needs to be unraveled, and much of the story’s tension comes from her inability to realise this.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

➢ “Sharp Objects is about a murder case, but Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) is the real mystery …. [This] mesmerising eight-episode series is not the Gothic crime thriller you might first suspect — at least not mainly. Instead, the show’s attention is drawn backward to Camille’s injuries, emotional, physical and self-inflicted. There’s no cat-and-mouse game going on, no taunts from a genius criminal. Sharp Objects instead relies on internal drama and a transfixing Ms. Adams, who lays Camille’s ragged soul bare with sardonicism and self-loathing.” — New York Times.

➢ “Sharp Objects could well serve as True Detective, Season 3. It shares that show’s curiosity about evil and its unwillingness to settle for anything less than its version of psychological truth, no matter how demanding … As a detective story, it’s top-of-the-line, and its detective, a reporter who’s too close to her story and far too removed from compassion and from a clear understanding of reality, is a character that will endure long after the mystery is solved.” — Variety.

➢ “Sharp Objects is primarily a Gothic mystery, but also an incisive psychological portrait of both its heroine and the old-fashioned, sexist community that produced her, the dead girls, and possibly their killer. TV’s inundated with humourless serialised tales of murder that wallow in their own misery. Sharp Objects is at no point fun, but is executed at such a remarkable level that it’s as thrilling as it is tragic.” — Rolling Stone.

➢ “Although the eight-episode series eventually perks up, in the seven parts made available for review it’s often a lazy, dreary summer mystery that feels exploitative of the violence it depicts. It’s a disappointing adaptation of its source material, with all the gravitas of a trashy beach read … A nip here and an edit there could have made Objects masterful. ” — USA Today.

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