Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sharp Objects

Series Review : Sharp Objects
Aired on : HBO
My Rating : 8 out of 10

Apart from long running multi-season serials, HBO also produces high quality mini-series limited to a single season of a small number of episodes. The latest series “Sharp Objects” is based on the book by Gillian Flynn. Before watching the series, I read the book like I usually do. But unlike “Big Little Lies” where I wrote reviews for both the book and the series, I am just going to write a review of the series here. 

The oft repeated and generally accepted conventional wisdom is, a book is better than its screen adaptation. This serial is clearly an exception because the screen adaptation is much better than the book. The book really was not worth writing a review about.

Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) is an average journalist working for a second tier newspaper in St Louis. Her hometown, Wind Gap, fictitious of course, located in southern Missouri, is reeling from a bizarre and shocking murder of a young girl. Camille gets dispatched there to write a story. Her boss is fond of her and thinks it will serve a dual purpose of Camille getting her break, as well as she can use the time to build back her relationship with her estranged family. But the family’s past has tragedies and Camille is still suffering emotionally in many different ways. Camille’s aim is to just report, she isn’t there to solve the mystery. But After reaching her home, things slowly start developing, and Camille discovers a lot more than what she had hoped.

The main thread of the plot is definitely the crime aspect. The book did poorly on that front. It was not at all difficult to guess the whodunit part. The series is much smarter in revealing its cards and hence would have good surprise elements for those who have not read the book. Only a few minor tweaks have been made to the storyline and the result is so much better. The numerous short flashbacks that are sprinkled throughout may get confusing though. Other threads of the plot are about local culture, politics, gossip and such aspects of the small town. The book paints a rather depressing portrait of the community. The series maintains the same tone, as it is an important aspect in building the atmosphere.

Perhaps the most important reason why I prefer the screen adaptation over the book is Amy Adams. She really brings Camille to life in a very controlled, understated performance. Camille is not a heroic character. She has her demons, as a journalist she is just about average and as person she is weak, because of her past. She is rarely happy. It’s not easy to stay invested in such a character, and it’s completely to the credit of Amy Adams that we feel her pain and want her to overcome her sorrows. Casting is outstanding and matches the expectations you would have gotten after reading the book.

These days, technical aspects of most marquee serials are high class. Such is the case here too. Direction, writing, camera work, everything is competent. I really liked the location. Unglamourous and realistic. 

There is very little action here. The series is firmly in the “psychological thriller” category. It may feel slow, but it never releases the tension. I am sure you will be hooked to this bingeable series. I definitely recommend it. It has many dark themes, and is correctly rated TV-MA. I also want to add a note. Please do watch the ending credits. I generally skip them to save time, but in this case the credits of the final episodes have added small scenes that clarify things further. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Rubaai 10

रुबाई क्रमांक १०

जरी मी कधी काही विसरत नाही
काहीच म्हणे तिला आठवत नाही
अन राहणार होता जो साक्षीला
तो चंद्रही आता उगवत नाही

हिंदी अनुवाद :
मैं तो कभी कुछ भुलता नहीं
पर वो कुछ याद रखता नही
और बनाया था गवाह जिसे
वो चांद भी अब निकलता नही
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