Big Little Lies Season 1

Big Little Lies Season 1: The creators of the mini-series (or, as they used to say, serial film) put an equal sign between them. All these small untruths, small omissions and little lies are just elements of one big and ugly lie. And as much as we would like to justify these little things with the right goals, it is worth remembering that nothing good is paved with good intentions. The lie has so saturated our being and consciousness that it is no longer perceived as something terrible. Well, just think – somewhere they hid the truth, somewhere they retouched it, somewhere they slightly distorted the true state of affairs. But can the truth be hidden for long? Will it bring peace and happiness?

Domestic Violence – Cover or Reveal?

This series was originally advertised as a female series. But I would recommend everyone to watch it. Because the issues he raises are not specifically women’s. They are family, they are universal. And the main question of the film is this: what is the truth behind the beautiful facade of an outwardly happy family? It is the family as an organism, and not its individual members. In my opinion, this is another attempt by American cinema to justify this ancient institution and give it a chance to live. We see that traditional marriage in the West has undergone a radical transformation; in its place, a new type of marriage has even been built – partnership. But somehow it doesn’t stand the test of time. Everything seems to be leading to the fact that marriage is not needed at all, even harmful, because it is – alas! – hotbed of violence. And this topic is now more relevant than ever for our country.

There are five families in the center of the story: the families of three girlfriends, the family of the ex-husband of one of the girlfriends, and the family of their “enemy”. Two families – ordinary and seemingly prosperous and traditional, one family of a single mother and her son, born as a result of rape, and two new families of divorced spouses, which adds complexity and tragedy to their relationship. All these families in reality turn out to be not at all what we (and our neighbors) think at first. Ideal lovers turn into a couple of victims and rapists, while seemingly unhappy and unfortunate spouses actually have hidden virtues and form happy families – for all their difficulties and problems. And interestingly, this is not affected by the amount of money in the family and the profession of the spouses. It is quite possible that a successful business woman is not at all so cool and invulnerable, and a poor freelance housewife is not so gray and unhappy. Everything is not as we see it. And this once again confirms the well-known saying: a strange family of darkness. Therefore, judging others and handing out labels must be done with great care – you can miss.

I will not retell the plot, so as not to spoil your viewing pleasure. Moreover, the action takes place inside the detective, in which there are more unknowns than usual. And I highly recommend watching. Because the film is very solid, beautiful and truthful, despite its frankness and sometimes even cruelty. And he shows not only the relationship between husband and wife (and ex-husband and wife, and their new partners), but also parent-child relationships, and the problems of “nurturing” a teenager, that is, a whole range of specific family problems and relationships. As a result, the picture is as voluminous as possible.

Bullying – punish or believe?

The theme of domestic and sexual violence is reinforced by the storyline of bullying at school. After all, all five families send their six-year-olds to the same class, and one of the children is a victim, and the other is accused of violence, and until the end of the film we do not know who is right and who is wrong.

And what about the mother of the victim in this case? What measures to take to protect your daughter from the cruelty of a sadistic child? The heroine of Laura Dern perfectly, in my opinion, shows that storm of ugly, but understandable emotions that a loving mother can experience. On the other hand, we deeply sympathize with the character of Shailene Woodley. That’s what you would do in her place, if your son was pointed out by a girl who was strangled, bitten and beaten?! Believe your child, who denies everything, or still “bend” under the new team and force his son to apologize? Both mothers are under extreme stress, as are their children. And just about the feelings of the latter, we have no right to forget. In any situation, the main thing is to listen to your child, believe him and protect him, no matter what others say, no matter what labels they stick. And for those who watch from the side, It would be nice not to succumb to the herd feeling of persecution. Because in this case, the truth does not lie on the surface. We learn the name of the real offender only at the end of the series.

True detective and psychotherapy

As we learn the names of adults – the killer and his victims, which are mentioned from the first frames of the film. I told you that this is a detective – everything is very serious. This stirs up interest in the investigation, makes us listen to fragmentary testimonies of witnesses and try to understand for ourselves who killed whom. However, this is not even the most important thing. It is more important to find out where in a prosperous rich and happy family love and passion end and sadism and codependency begin. We watch the development of events and gradually see that these are not innocent consensual sexual games, but a cruel and terrible pathology. And the psychotherapist of this married couple helps us to understand the essence of the problem. Celeste (Nicole Kidman’s character) does a great job of showing us the doubts and fears of a victim of abuse when she stops believing in herself, when it becomes so hard to understand, what is forgivable and permissible, and what goes beyond the boundaries of what is permitted. Dealing with this alone is almost impossible. Especially for someone who hides the truth and cannot share embarrassing details even with their closest friend. It is for such difficult cases that psychotherapists exist.

And this is one more touch. How many American films I watch, not one can do without a psychologist. This time even a six-year-old child needs a specialist. A natural question arises: how did people live before without all this? Were there fewer injuries? Or were people wiser? Or just in a traditional family, all these injuries were not paid attention to? Or, maybe, on the contrary: patience and love healed wounds? I’m not talking about the fact that no one needs therapy, I’m just saying that every year more and more people need it, even in prosperous America. And also that it works. Here, in the film, if there were no professionals – a psychologist at the school for Ziggy and a family therapist with Celeste – it is not known how it would have ended. It is quite possible that there would have been many more victims.

It’s hard to be a teenager

And, of course, I could not get past the topic of puberty. Because it is even more difficult to be a mother during this period. Having gone through several teenage riots in my own family, I understand well what a difficult and serious age this is, and how difficult it is for both the child and his parents.

I well understand the feelings that the heroine of Reese Witherspoon experiences when the grown daughter, contrary to her expectations, does not appreciate the efforts of the mother who raised and raised the child alone, but rebels against her influence and goes to live in a new family of a father who abandoned them and did not take care of the child absolutely. Madeleine’s courage in this situation is worthy of emulation.

And her second real husband (Adam Scott) showed himself very well here, who supports her all the time, finds the right comforting words, and generally behaves with dignity.

But the episode with the dinner party hooked me the most. When a mother finds out about her daughter’s “secret project”, she begins to feel sick right at the table, and this is the very reaction that cannot be contained or faked. I would single out Madeleine’s conversation with her daughter as an example. She finds amazingly right words to convey to a teenager the main thing – no good goals can justify the harm that a person can inflict on himself by rash actions on his own body. And here is the famous motto of feminists: “My body is my business!” repainted in new colors. Selling virginity at auction under any pretext is a big and irreparable mistake and a real violence against yourself, your body and your feelings. Another deception, another lie, big or small, it depends.

The ocean and its secrets

A very big plus of the film: it is pleasant to watch. It’s beautifully filmed. The ocean is harmoniously inscribed in the frame in all its forms and states, as a metaphor for family life, and the storms of life in general. Madeleine’s dialogue with her youngest daughter about the ocean and its hidden secrets brings a touch of mystery from the very beginning. Here you can clearly see the well-coordinated work of the operator, director and screenwriter. It is important that all the episodes were filmed by the same director – Jean-Marc Valle, known for the films “Wild” and “Dallas Buyers Club”. And the script was written by David E. Kelly with Liane Moriarty herself, whose bestseller I now really want to read. They say it’s impossible to get away. A good literary foundation is half the battle, in my opinion.

And, of course, a strong cast. Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern once again demonstrated their high acting skills. A pleasant discovery for me was Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz. And the men are beautiful, of course. Alexander Skarsgard, Adam Scott and James Tupper. I also really liked the hero of Joseph Cross, who turned out to be courageous and heterosexual, despite gossip about his orientation. It seems that women are in the spotlight, but without men there would be no intrigue itself. Which proves that both men and women still need a family. But a family without addictions and violence. Kind, loving and friendly – a normal family with all the sorrows and joys, problems and mutual support. And such families do exist. This is what brings joy and hope.

We would have a boring life without each other.

I didn’t like the second season. Rather, there is a rational grain there, but it has been done much worse. What do you think?


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