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Mare of Easttown is not just another story of a detective solving a case with extraordinary brilliance and eye for details, but so much more.
Probably the 1st time on screen, Kate Winslet plays a detective, and does it to perfection like every other role of till date in her career. But beyond the suspense of the shocking murder in a close-knit community, Kate brings out the humane side of the character who is the pillar for almost everyone around her.
Mare, as she is called, is tenacious but quirky, bold but subtle, and experienced but impulsive. Despite all those solid principles she is just another human being with her own issues!
Mare’s real beauty is her ability to be everything for everyone in her horizon without compromising herself.
When a rookie coughs up on the sight of blood – she knows how to help him without mocking him.
When neighbourhood elders have an issue- she listens patiently and acts smartly.
When her friend is upset with her- she reasons while she stands her ground.
At home she is daughter, mother, grandmother, and dons each hat with finesse keeping her loved ones close. She doesn’t hesitate to pull up or put someone in place when needed. She treats everyone with benevolence despite the dark shadow of unfortunate occurrences in her life.
While the series focusses on Mare, she is surrounded by breed of extraordinarily strong and stunning women who have challenges of their own.
A mother who fights to save her daughter, a sister who is struggling to handle her brother, a youngster who is trying to find love, a recovering addict trying to get her life back, and the teenage mum saving up for her toddler’s surgery.
Every character is crafted delicately; reach out to each other for help or support one another, and stand together when needed.
Special mention for Grandma Jean Smart. I wish someday I turn out to be a quirky granny like her, and manage to seem younger than my age! Definitely a loveable pest-y menace to her daughter, but filled with undiluted sarcasm, and living every moment to her best.
And that frame of Kate laughing her guts out when trolling her mom’s affair brings out the true colours of their gorgeous relationship. Absolute fun to watch Grandma hide the ice cream, dive to turn off the news while her daughter walks in, chat curiously with daughter’s date or get laughed at for just doing Granny things!
Amidst all the themes the series touches upon, my most favourite was the dire need for mental health awareness, and how Mare embraces the much needed support to overcome her deepest fear. Though she initially scoffs at the idea of taking counselling, she eventually decides to face her own devils, and move on in the truest sense.
Suicide, drug addiction, mood-disorder, depression, influence of medication, losing a parent in childhood. Every page of Mare’s life is burdened with unimaginable issues, and it is painful to watch her question her own sanity in passing down mental health disorders to her future generations, as when she fights to keep her grandson close. Hidden under those layers is the guilt that she might have been unconsciously responsible for the troubles he is prone to inherit.
Mare had been mandated to take up counselling earlier, but she seeks help again of her own accord, acknowledging her delicate mental state and the beneficial effect of counselling in getting her life back together. Overcoming a mental barrier to take help, and subsequently accepting that it was a good step to take, is clearly established.
Her effort this time brings her closer to the last frontier to be covered – the death of her son which she had hidden beneath layers of others’ grief. Every piece falls in place towards the end, and watching it happen on screen in Mare’s life is nothing short of therapeutic! She has embraced her reality and moved on.
Take a moment to think about everyone who is struggling to deal with curveballs life has thrown, and help them get the desired help in their journey. They may be another Mare, hiding their real struggles behind a façade of fortitude.
First published here.
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