Psychologically charged murder mystery Sharp Objects is as engaging as it is technically impressive. From the exquisite sound design to the perfectly discordant editing, every part of Sharp Objects has been finely tuned and crafted to create a compelling, slowly unfolding mystery. The pace may be a little too slow at times and the tone suitably bleak which doed make this a miniseries difficult to binge but in manageable, bite-size chunks, Sharp Objects is an incredibly endearing show and one of this year’s more impressive entries on the TV circuit.
The story follows troubled reporter Camille (Amy Adams) who begrudgingly finds herself assigned to reporting a violent murder case in her hometown Wind Gap. Haunted by a troubled past mired in violence and depression, Camille feels alienated from the adults, growing closer to the young girls whom the killer in town is targeting. Finding comfort in out-of-town detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina), the two grow closer while trying to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome murders by uncovering a series of clues and leads before the eventual climactic ending that reveals who the killer is.
Whilst the plot itself isn’t wholly original – a murder mystery in a small town shrouded in secrets doesn’t radiate originality – the excellent stylistic techniques and a damaging yet empathetic Amy Adams at the helm makes this series an absolute tour de force. As has been the case in her big screen efforts, Amy Adams’ performance here is nothing short of brilliant and her mannerisms, dialogue choices and convincing body language make her a compelling part of the series and a sure-fire nod for an Emmy nomination based on this performance.
The rest of the cast are equally as appealing though and whether it be Camille’s unhinged mother Adora (Patricia Clarkson) or her eerie 13 year old half sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen), every supporting character is given enough screen time and plot development to round out their stories and make them a compelling part of the overarching story.
Stylistically, Sharp Objects is very impressively crafted. The framing and various compositional techniques used here really help set the show apart from other murder mysteries and echoes of Big Little Lies and Gone Girl can be felt throughout the series. Shades of green dominate every frame and whether it be the claustrophobic confines of Camille’s family home or the lush greens of the forest nearby, every part of Sharp Objects has been deliberately composed to maximise the emotional impact of the show.
For all of its positives, and there’s no denying Sharp Objects is an impressive show, the exhastungly slow pace will make or break the series for you. Sharp Objects demands your attention even in the slowest moments but at times the pace is incredibly slow moving and the story takes a while to unfold requiring a lot of patience as we get to know every character. Those looking for something packed full of drama or littered with multiple twists, turns and action will be hard pressed to find it here. If you can go into this one blind and are prepared for the slow pace beforehand, Sharp Objects could just be one of the stand-out shows of 2018.
Verdict - 8.5/10