The new crime series by HBO is an addition to the league of detective shows which makes an amazing dramatic entry. The lead role is being played by popular Hollywood actor Mathew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, a TV veteran who seems to bring every bit of confidence, skill and charisma to ‘True Detective’.
On a bizarre Louisiana murder case,Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson) were detective partners in 1995. Seventeen years later, when a similar case leads to an investigation of the ’95 murder, Cohle and Hart are questioned by a new set of detectives. Then they separately recount the story of the case and their lives, with constant flashbacks handled with genius style by director Cary Joji Fukunaga.
As we skip back and forth into different time periods, we see characters evolving along with time. Besides hair loss, Hart seems little-changed since the events of 1995, whereas Cohle seems much worse for wear. As the tale of “True Detective” unfolds, it becomes clear that the nonlinear story has many layers yet to be unfolded. The mystery becomes less about who committed the murder being investigated and more about what drove these two men to change so completely from the past to the present day.
McConaughey’s acting in particular is riveting as raw nerve while Rust Cohle, a guy whose unorthodox thoughts and troubled history make him an uneasy fit in the show’s Louisiana setting. Both McConaughey and Harrelson are playing slightly against type, and it’s clear how much both actors enjoy getting to do something different. Finally, the series features the direction of Cary Joji Fukunaga, who most recently directed a thrilling feature adaptation of ‘Jane Eyre’.
“True Detective” seems to be more about detectives than about crime solving. As Hart and Cohle follow leads, the show is really focused on their personal predicaments. The show is meant to be a deeper and more ruminative exploration of the crime procedural.
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