HBO 'Sharp Objects' Episode 2 review: Amy Adams breathes life into the troubled character of Camille Preaker

HBO's latest thriller 'Sharp Objects' is just on its second episode and is already getting pretty hard to watch, thanks to Amy Adams' fantastic performance.


                            HBO 'Sharp Objects' Episode 2 review: Amy Adams breathes life into the troubled character of Camille Preaker

Pour a large drink, after watching Amy Adams in 'Sharp Objects' you will need one.

HBO's latest thriller 'Sharp Objects' is just two episode old but it's it is already making me queasy, thanks to Amy Adams' fantastic performance. She's a mess, but damn she does it well. Based on a novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn, the miniseries is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Adams plays the role of a crime reporter named Camille Preaker, who goes back home to Wind Gap, to write about the twisted murder of two young girls. The victims were both killed brutally, and their bodies tossed about in the woods like logs of wood.

Camille, who has just been out of mental turbulence herself appears to be stepping right back into the predator's jaws as she finds old memories of her childhood flooding right back in. Memories she had managed to drown in a lot of vodkas. 

 

In the second episode, 'Dirt', the story goes a little further. We see a side to Camille that we've always known had existed, or at least guessed from the flashbacks so far. She is clearly not herself in what is supposed to be her home. As she prepares herself to go to Natalie Keene's funeral wearing her mother Adora's clothes. Her suffocation, yet, her desire to please and fit in triggers - manifests itself in a black dress - slightly tight and uncomfortable which she wears anyway. At the funeral, the dress rips open at the sides, much like her temper. Her mother lectures about her drinking while sister Ama throws a fit.

We know she thinks of herself as the less favorite one and the cleverly woven flashbacks tell us that her mother had made that abundantly clear from the time they were little girls (running up the stairs into her arms) to the moments after her half-sister Miriam Crellin's funeral. As little flashback Camille lays her pixie-haired head on Adora's lap, she pushes her away and goes on to hug the dead body in the casket instead.



 

'Dirt' sets us up for pain, not emotional, rather dramatic. The kind that has Camille reaching out for the needle stuck on the side of her car seat to push it in under her nail bed. There's also some teeth pulling with the help of a pair of household pliers - both human and pig - and this is just the beginning. Our guts may just be out before 'Sharp Objects' decides to close. As Detective Willis (Chris Messina) struggles to get his ducks in a row, there's a high possibility that Camille and Willis will work together in the future. 

Clearly, in need of help, Camille Preaker's character lives two lives at the same time. One of a reporter from St. Louis and the other of a daughter who simply wants to be loved - to have a family. Meanwhile, there are slight revelations everywhere about how the brutal killings of Anne and Natalie sent ripples across the already dead town, with fear looming on every sidewalk. But the good people of Wind Gap tend to deny their issues, shielding it all under a veil of civility.

Hiding all the knives before a funeral trip instead of getting help for the demons eating away at her daughter? Sounds like the life that Camille perhaps wanted an escape from. In spite of her being so self-destructive, I find it hard to feel sorry for her. Because she appears to be one of the few who made it out. It could also explain why she picked to be a reporter, although at this time we know very little about her character's backstory, except that she was a once cheerleader.



 

If it hadn't been for Amy Adams, there wouldn't be a Camille. 

Amy Adams is perhaps one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. And, there is no denying that 'Sharp Objects' is all about her, and its got her right where she deserves to be - front and center - soaking the spotlight. It is hard to spot where Amy ends, and Camille starts. She makes drunk squinting eyes and the ability to go into a trance yet snap back into real life seem like a cake walk. Amy's character is as complicated as a spider web - she's a self-destructive cutter who even after moving away is chased by her demons.

In an attempt to please her editor for a "great story" she moves right back to the place that gave her all those scars, literally. And when she does come back home, she realizes what it had been all along. In spite of all of these sharp objects cutting through her being, there's something hopeful about her that you can't really put a finger on. It is perhaps, the purpose in her eyes.    

 



 

At times, Amy is so extraordinary ordinary. She hides Camille's webs inside her somber self, looking like a calm ocean on the outside. While in most cases it is this quality of Amy, the one that lets her fit like a glove into a role, that has her pushed into the background, this time it is quite the opposite. This "Princess of Wind Gap" shines through in the midst of gore and murder. 

The show isn't essentially a crime series. It almost feels like the murder is a subplot - something to push the tale along. The real reason for 'Sharp Objects' is to tell the story of women like Camille - how the world slowly chips away at the psyche of the Camille's of the world. It is a story of self-harm and the results of denial. Camille is like a laceration in the face of the town that it hides behind a mask and Amy makes you believe it. For both Amy and 'Sharp Objects,' this is indeed just the beginning.

'Sharp Objects' airs every Sunday on HBO at 9 pm.