Friday, June 29, 2018

Mosaic - The Reckoning


The Reckoning really submits to us that the suspicion on Joel is accurate, with this window of lost time that night Olivia perished a terror he cannot shake. When he drinks heavily he blacks out, so Joel very well could have met up with Olivia, raged out towards her with a hammer, suffocated her, and drug her body away to later bury in a mine. However, when supposed details start to emerge Joel begins to wonder what is real or just seemingly real because of what he has learned since Petra fetched him from Louisiana back to Utah. Details that he didn’t remember only emerge once the case reveals evidence (dropped by Nate to a reporter buddy, inspired by his wife in an effort to fish out the real culprit behind Olivia’s murder) in the news. He suddenly “springs into action”, needing to contact Laura (who has been sleeping with someone else back in Louisiana) to determine if he fought with her that night and punched a wall (a punch to Olivia’s face from the right hand is discovered by the coroner, and his friend tells Nate that he had a bruise on the knuckles of his hand), also trying to locate any ties from his person he might have to Olivia’s body. He had also sold the truck to a guy before leaving Utah after Olivia went missing, hoping to find the vehicle to investigate for evidence. So his behavior becomes evident to Nate that it appears he’s the killer, their conversation at the opening of this series repeated, except director Soderbergh blurs the lens when looking into Nate’s face from Joel’s askew perspective (a nice touch). Soderbergh also emphasizes Joel’s anguished face, reliving time spent with Olivia that led to his coarse anger towards her (and when they first met as she wants to see some of his work) and what might (or might not) have happened between him and Olivia during her assault and demise. Garrett Hedlund’s work, how good it is, cannot be understated…his trying to unravel what happened, the dread of what could have happened, the confusion and anxiety, the silent angst, all of that surfacing is expressed by Hedlund, who realizes that he might have done something quite horrible. But why he’s a sympathetic figure is verified in his talk with Laura: how Olivia provoked him, recognizing his misunderstanding of just why he was kept around, not as interested in his talent as much as fucking him. He gives Laura credit for her sacrifices while she appreciates his recognition, the two pleasantly eschewing what could very well implicate and convict Joel in favor of the results of leaving behind Utah for what was hoped to be a better future…obviously Laura wasn’t satisfied considering the affair. The Reckoning sure visualizes Joel as the most likely candidate to be Olivia’s murderer, while Eric tries to convince his sister that a former associate in scams of the past is being paid by somebody to make sure he remains in prison despite his innocence…this enforcing that even if one is innocent of a particular crime he’s in prison for, the past can hinder his ability to escape unscathed. With the DA shitting on Nate for hoping to investigate other leads, flat threatening his position and standing in town as sheriff, the weight of pursuing Joel instead is quite heavy. Nate’s encounters with Alan, who appears to be trying to undermine his investigation (trying to get information about the case through a coroner so he can offer it to his employer as a favor), result in quite a heated exchange…Nate’s emotional breakdown in his car afterward, calmed by his loving and supportive wife, is a showcase for actor Ratray.

Beau Bridges, as the former sheriff who made sure to arrest and send to prison Eric, even if he was the wrong man, as Alan, does a hell of a lot with the little screen time he has. You can see the nervousness in regards to Nate's pursuit of justice, afraid someone else other than Eric will ultimately be proven as the murderer. And his unease when meeting with his employer, feeling the noose tighten, is subtle but quite distinct. Brandon Ray Olive, as the perturbed DA who gives Nate a hard time, is memorable in a small piece of screen time, vocally chastising the sheriff for even daring challenge his work in convicting Eric.

4/5

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