When HBO announced in December 2017 that it plans to produce the second season of the “Big Innocent Lies” series, most received skepticism. First of all, because the seven-episode miniseries was so appreciated – with its story, distribution, image, and music – that fans were afraid the second season might not be as successful as the first.
Secondly, because no one ever believed that something convincing could be removed from a story whose mystery seems to have been solved in the last episode of the first season. But David Edward Kelley (the producer behind hits like “Ally McBeal”, “Boston Public” or “Mr. Mercedes”) has proven to everyone that a well-written story can go on forever.
So Kelley wrote the script for another seven episodes, starting, as in the first season, from the homonymous novel of Liane Moriarty of Australia. It has resulted in a nuanced drama, pigmented with black humor, sex and suspense, which continues to explore, from a new perspective, “the malignancy of lies, the sustainability of friendships, the fragility of marriage, the vicious ferocity of parents,” as the representatives of HBO television call them.
The second season had its premiere in early June, and we found it captivating since the first episode. What is so special about this movie and why is it worth watching? Here are some arguments!
From the very beginning, “Big Little Lies” – which won 8 Emmy awards last year (out of 16 nominations) – attracted the viewer with the realistic way in which he dissects issues related to motherhood, education, domestic violence, social pressure.
The second season takes on the focus of the initial story and shows the complexity of modern women’s lives, showing how much they are affected by the actions of men, regardless of their status and privileges.
Guardians of the family, of their own integrity, the five protagonists – now called “the five Monterey” – now have to keep a secret, that of the death of Perry, the aggressive husband who beat Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and who raped Jane (Shailene Woodley).
So the emotional core is changed, so Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Renata (Laura Dern), Celeste, Jane and Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz) have to deal with the repercussions of Perry’s death, as well as other dark secrets that are required to be revealed.
Despite the challenges, women are still strong, truthful, trying their best to orient their destinies to the good of life. Some do it out of inertia, going to the psychologist, like Celeste or Madeline; others do it with the hope of the one at the beginning of the road (such as Jane, who falls in love); and others do it in despair, as Renata proceeds, who, bankrupted by her own husband, conceives of her to be nothing more than a “rich woman”.
Witherspoon continues to be the nice gossip that does not escape the life of the small Californian city, but at the same time, it reaches some surprising interpretive nuances, in an attempt to reproduce the emotional transformations that her character goes through (she is on the verge of stepping divorce, communication with his eldest daughter is difficult).
Kidman is perfect in the role of the confused and vulnerable widow, who can neither rejoice nor mourn the disappearance of her aggressive husband and who continues to be addicted to violence.
Dern touches innumerable notes of anger, in her zeal to solve crucial problems. Zoë Kravitz is no longer the Zen woman, friendly with light and tranquility, she has transformed herself into her dark version, perfectly mimicking a woman’s dead soul. Shailene Woodley barely makes the transition from the traumatized woman, having to raise her child alone, to the woman reappeared by a man’s love.
The biggest surprise of the cast, however, is Meryl Streep as Mary Louise Wright, Celeste’s mother-in-law, who came to Monterey to help her granddaughter and grandchildren after the tragic event but also to find answers to the mysterious way in which the son died. They.
She is affectionate and visceral, wicked and frightening, funny and wicked, the perfect combination for an insufferable character who undermines the evil only for the sake of defending her child.
Although some critics believe that the character is a careless cartoon of Streep, anyone can see how her simple presence, no matter how episodic, dominates the atmosphere of the film even after the actress has stepped out of the frame. (“You might think that the molecules in the air continue to vibrate in her memory,” writes The Guardian).
The spaces where the action is filmed only enhance the beauty of the series. The picturesque coastal town of Monterey, the beautiful beach houses, the huge pools, the enigmatic ocean views, the quirky interiors of the charming restaurants in the harbors are seductive spaces that reflect the way of life of the protagonists, their aspirations and needs.