Show: Mare of Easttown
Creator: Brad Ingelsby
Platform: Disney HotStar
American TV brings to us yet another detective crime drama and it is set in Easttown. Easttown is a close-knit circle of people who are aware enough of each other’s lives that they conveniently draw upon their shortcomings to throw insults at them when needed but also arrange for a shelter when a character runs out of money to keep his house warm.
Shows like these are my favourite kind, for they not only fascinate you with the mystery aspect regarding the murder but also with the mystery surrounding the day-to-day lives of the people in the town and their dynamic relationships. There are often skeletons in the closets that appear as one goes along.
In Mare of Easttown, Kate Winslet plays the titular character of a middle-aged detective who is struggling to pick her battles. There is a dead son, divorced husband, a grandson whom she wants to protect from his addict mother and an unsolved missing girl’s case, in the middle of this overwhelming turmoil a young girl is found dead.
The primary aspect of an engaging story is having a conflict for our character to resolve. Mare of Easttown is inundated with conflicts that range from familial issues to moral ambiguities and criminal investigations. Hence it goes without saying that this show is much more than just an investigation drama.
Kate Winslet has crossed all limits and with those role, has treaded into the ‘legend’ territory. Her performance, if you can call it that, as Mare is filled with irreverence and resignation towards the world around us but there is still a fighting spirit of a police officer that keeps her going. She is crass but not callous. The writing of this character is filled with pangs of genuine ache about what transpired in the past and a disconcerting anxiety of might happen in the future. It is an agonizing emotional conundrum to have and Kate Winslet does not romantize, playing it with great authenticity. Let us not even talk about the accent here. She has always been exceptional with her accents. It is astonishing, once again.
The most stunning part about Kate Winslet’s achievement is that this performance is almost, completely, devoid of any showy moments. She is not offered with moments to shine and display her acting prowess, she rather shines in the mundaneness of it all. Some of the most mesmerizing moments of acting happen within the absolutely unassuming mileue of the house. Its an absolute delight to watch her twirl in bed or walk out of her room with a slight early morning limp in her stride or stuffing her mouth with munchies, so she could get to work sooner. Kate becomes Mare, she is not Kate Winslet performing Mare’s angst or pain, she is just BEING Mare and that is why this is one of the greatest performances I have seen, standing at the top with Claire Foy in the Crown.