Perfect life is a perfect lie

Twisted and dark. Impressively addictive. Full of secrets, secrets and secrets.

HBO has recently released a new dark comedy-drama series based on a famous novel by an Australian writer Liane Moriarty (love her last name 😏). The book was extremely well received by critics who praised its balance of humour with serious issues like domestic violence. Moriarty’s main inspiration for the novel came from a radio interview she heard in which a woman told about her parents’ abusive relationship.

What’s the plot?

Three women. Dark secrets. A single mom Jane (Sheilene Woodley) is new in town with her son. She doesn’t tell anything about herself. The only thing everyone knows for sure is that she is running away from her past. Madeline (Reese Witherspoone) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) are average housewives with children and husbands to take care of. Both of them have their own problems: Madeline is resentful that her daughter from her previous marriage is growing close to her ex-husband’s new wife. Celeste is physically abused by her rich banker husband. The two strike up a friendship with Jane and then something awful happens. A murder which shocks people of a little town.

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Photo Credit: HBO

The big question.

Who got murdered? At the police station, when people of the town are interviewed, someone says: “Women don’t let things go.” Was it a hint? Murder mysteries are all about the tricks, and this feels like a classic murder mystery trick. What I personally like most about the production is that the glimpses of the future when the murder has already taken place go alongside with the narration. With each episode, you come closer and closer to the mystery solution.

And while you’re trying to find answer to this question, new ones arrive. Who is Jane hiding from with her little son Ziggy? What dark secrets does Celeste’s marriage have?

What’s behind the gorgeous set design?

Filmed in Monterey, California, the settings often include incredible beachfront or beach adjacent properties. And here is what’s interesting about it. The idea of Monterey setting underscores that no matter how much money you have or how gorgeous your home and clothes are, you can still feel desperate, alone, as though you have nothing. Living in a place that looks like a paradise doesn’t equate to being in paradise. That’s a theme that’s been struck in countless works of literature, films, and, yes, TV shows. Every story about rich people and their problems blatantly or accidentally makes a similar point.

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Photo Credit: HBO

The movie’s producers have selected a first-rate cast. The characters are played by big little Hollywood stars including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Adam Scott and Zoë Kravitz. Just their names can already make this movie a success.

So, who’s going to kill whom? Woman killing another woman? Husband killing another husband? A husband killing another wife? There are a lot of possibilities. Director Jean-Marc Vallée promises that once you learn the truth, your jaw will drop down. Taking your word for that, mister.

With love,

Angelina Murashka

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