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Big Little Lies

May 13, 2017

Big Little Lies is a new TV series released by HBO, the first episode was released on 19th February 2017. The program is starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shaileen Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz. Indeed, they all are famous and recognized actresses on the big screen.  The series was created by David E. Kelly, also recognized mainly for his movie Dallas Buyers Club. It’s a one season series, like an author series.

The series begins with the news that a murder was committed, but we don’t know  who the victim is or either who the murderer is. Then, we are introduced to the characters and the story through the interviews led by the police of all the inhabitants. But, all along the series, we are less held by the suspense than by the atmosphere we are immersed into.  It all happens in a small town by the sea where the tensions between people revolve around their children who are in first grade. The series is mostly about women, all different, and how they behave between each other, who they are or what they are going through.  We understand, right at the beginning, there is an opposition between women who have careers and housewives. In fact, it is complicated for both : women who have careers feel  they are blamed for it whereas housewives feel they are just limited to being mothers and feel a condescanding look from the careerists. We get to know the different  groups of friends and then we come into their personal lives, and we discover all the suffering they’re living through. Through the different characters, it depicts the violent aspects of our society and the place of women in this society.

Nicole Kidman’s character is a victim of domestic violence and she doesn’t  want to leave her husband because they love each other very much; her character is, I think, very realistic of  domestic violence, as she loves her husband, he is the perfect man, the perfect father and she is “so lucky to have him”, in the eyes of everyone. Shaileen Woodley plays a young single mother whose son’s father is her rapist. She raises him on her own and came in the town to start anew and maybe find her rapist to kill him. Moreover, her son is accused of bullying a girl of his class which emphasizes her fear that her son could be like his father. Reese Witherspoon embodies the character of a typical housewife, putting her nose in everyone’s business, running the benevole theatre of the city and all. She has to deal with her marriage and her teenager who is going away from her to be closer to her dad’s new wife (Zoe Kravitz). She also embodies the adulterer as she had an affair with another man, she really is the woman who’s dealing with her desirers, her faults, and her mother status. In a word, it’s a series about mothers, wives, women, workers, and how they manage to be all of this at the same time.

Yet, it also talks about men and what is their position next to their wives or ex-wives; it shows very well how, faced with a similar problem, the man and the woman are going to have different reactions, and how they treat each other in the marriage. Indeed, the series  questions the status of women and men in our society; it’s about the being and the appearance and who we expect women to be and what’s behind these expectations.

In my opinion, this series aims at representing life as it is, as everybody has his part of neurosis, and it is done very well because the aim is not to show strong or weak persons but just human beings who are both.  Through these characters, the message put across is that no one, no marriage, no life is perfect.

Céline

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