No spoilers here. Like Memento, it's written to be watched twice. The writing is tight and smart, nothing is wasted, though that might not register until the second time through. Both bleak and comic, it is a genuine mystery, in that clues and red herrings are carefully planted throughout, with a big reveal at the end that is genuinely surprising. The storytelling architecture is very satisfying. You are not emotionally invested in any of the characters. This is by design, the structure pretty much guarantees it, and it's a good thing. Though it works backwards, it goes day-by-day, not sequence by sequence, so while you are kept engaged in figuring out what's going on and who's who, it's easy enough keep track, you're never at sea. There's plenty to enjoy the first time through, but much of the early content, and many of the "jokes" -- it's very dark, but they are a kind of jokes-- only hit on second viewing. It's a new kind of thing, straight to streaming, the cinematic equivalent of a straight-to-paperback noir. Made cheaply enough that neither the cinematography nor the acting seek to wow you (though they do get the job done) so it's not like a movie. But it's not like TV either, it's not looking for ratings, it doesn't have to go big-hit-or-die, it doesn't need a sponsor, it can be its own thing, the story they wanted to tell, everything's in there they wanted, nothing is in there they didn't want. I liked it a lot. I probably wouldn't have watched it again, but there were special circumstances, and I'm really glad I did.
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An inventive crime thriller told backwards -- reversing day by day through a week -- following a local sheriff's quest to unlock the mystery of three small town criminals and a bank heist gone wrong.
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July 22, 2019