Seven episodes later, it becomes clear that David E. Kelley’s proposal was the correct one. “Love and death” is a miniseries with more strengths than weaknesses. Although her leading actress, Elizabeth Olsen in the role of Candy Montgomery, stands out greatly, it would be correct to say that the cast as a whole is remarkable. Although in recent episodes an unexpected character has stood out, the lawyer and neighbor Don Crowder.
And it is that it has been the man played by Tom Pelphrey who -since the crime broke out- stole the show. This, of course, thanks to a personality that was initially reserved. We are talking, then, about a Methodist church attendee who had no experience in criminal trials and, overnight, faced one of the most controversial legal cases of the second half of the 20th century in the United States.
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But before continuing to comment on the role of Elizabeth and Tom on the screen, it is time to say that the seventh episode of “Love and death” It was a great closure for an interesting story, although more than that, very well produced. We have witnessed the faithful portrait of a fact that has already been touched on in the past, but that deserved an approach from another angle: the circus formed around the victim and his victimizer.
Sitting in front of the judge and jury, Candy Montgomery daydreams about the fateful situation that led to the death of Betty Gore, her friend and neighbor. Upon ‘awakening’ by the work and grace of her lawyer, Don of hers, the defendant must answer a question after question as to how she went from visiting a friend to cutting her apart with 41 ax blows. The figure -as we have said before- is not lower, because at all times the prosecutor in the case tries to use it to expose a sinister mentality and absolutely far from the idea of legitimate defense.
But a detail that attracts attention is the way in which the HBO Max series shows the passing of the minutes of the interrogation of Candy. As she explains that perhaps she never loved Betty’s husband and that she never imagined an afterlife with her, an aerial shot shows us the faces of Allan (the victim’s husband) and Pat (the victim’s husband). of the defendant). Both started the series with an ostensibly higher level of importance than they show in episode seven. This in no way detracts from the actors who play them: Jesse Plemons and Patrick Fugit, respectively.
Inevitably, as one soaks up a case as dramatically violent as this one, one simultaneously goes to Google and finds that although after being found ‘not guilty’ Candy and Pat moved away to ‘start over’, they both eventually settled. They separated and started other lives with different partners. In itself, what we see on the screen thanks to HBO Max is not very far from reality: here or there was never love or it was worn out along the way.
It’s time to get down to business. The big draw of the last episode of “Love and death” was not to see Candy sitting in front of the insufferable Judge Tom (Bruce McGill), but to discover how David E. Kelley and company describe a scene lurid by nature. In this purpose, the filmmakers of this series have not skimped on technical and aesthetic care. The confrontation between Betty and Candy is observed step by step. Of course, it is clear that she was the first who tried to attack the second, and the latter, after managing to take the ax (famous proof that would be exposed before the judge and the court) reacted almost completely unaware.
The shots are tough, apart from the blood dripping all over the crime scene, because we’re looking at two women in a completely genuine moment of despair. At the hearing, Candy explains that she was slow to realize that her former friend could actually kill her. After turning the situation around and nailing an accurate ax blow to the head of her attacker, our protagonist did not stop anymore. We are, then, facing the crudest moment throughout the seven episodes of the HBO Max miniseries.
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“I just remember being afraid that she would get up again, so I kept hitting her,” the defendant says at some point during the interrogation. But, evidently, the story does not end with the hacks and the spilled blood. After the attack and the harsh response, Candy felt the natural need to leave everything in order. Before, of course, she had to overcome disgust in the chaotic setting. So she walked to the bathroom and took a shower. And even though she felt that she was never going to be completely clean, she kept going, then went to clean up the crime scene.
Still in shock at what happened, our protagonist had to leave the place. Outside, a girl was playing as if the world had stopped. And this is just one of the details that “Love and death” He has left us. Also, as we have already said in the comments of the previous episodes, the music (perhaps designed to promote an environment capable of tearing us away from the gloomy touch that knowing of a death like this generates in us) has a supreme value in a story like this.
“Love and death” hides a real personal drama. A woman with emotional problems does not stop being jealous of her husband, who, suffocated by what lives inside the house, ends up giving in to the suggestive proposal of her beautiful neighbor Candy. Without imagining how it would all end, they both end up becoming lovers not for something exclusively sexual, but rather become accomplices, confidants, best friends, or whatever they want to be called. When the deceived wife discovers that her great fears had a basis, that is when she decides to attack the ‘culprit’. And although Candy and Allan were no longer together at that time, nothing made Betty back down in her attempt to do justice and prevent anyone from taking what was “hers”.
Finally, episode seven has a series of elements that -presented in a disorderly way- perhaps do not contribute to the final product as expected. The reappearance of Candy’s psychologist in court seems forced. The discussion between Judge Tom and Don Crowder (which starts off well, takes shape, but soon ends up deflating) redounds. The almost complete disappearance of our protagonist’s close friends or neighbors is illogical. All these elements can be questioned because they are part of ‘how’ a story is told. In favor, however, there are images like Candy staring – while she moves with her husband Pat from Texas to another city where they can live away from social pressure – the hotel where it all began with Allan. But also phrases, and many. From “I don’t know if I deserve you, Pat, but I’m lucky to have you” (from Candy to Pat) to “I wish you a good life” (From Allan to Candy), to “A conviction is not a fair solution for this tragedy in particular” (from Candy’s lawyer before the jurors). Finally, some additions are completely out of place, such as seeing Allan kissing the pianist of the Methodist Church choir after saying that he “feels lonely.”
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However, in no way should the deficient elements overshadow a miniseries that rises from the easy and flat to introduce us to a group of flesh and blood human beings who, subjected to extraordinary situations, reveal their darkest side.
LOVE AND DEATH/ HBO MAX
Creator: david e kelley
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Jesse Plemons, Patrick Fugit, Lily Rabe, Keir Gilchrist, Elizabeth Marvel, Tom Pelphrey, Krysten Ritter
Synopsis: The miniseries tells the stunning true story of Candy Montgomery (Elizabeth Olsen), an 1980s Texan housewife accused of murder. Although she had a loving family, a perfect home, and an active presence at church, Candy couldn’t get over the suburban monotony. After a heated encounter with Allan Gore (Jesse Plemons), her churchmate, she Candy ignites the spark that was missing in her life. They enjoyed their cunningly planned love affair until their respective partners, Pat (Patrick Fugit) and Betty (Lily Rabe) discover the secret and one of them decides to crack it with an axe.
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