Never make the mistake of presuming you know everything there is to know about someone’s life: Some people may surprise you. And that exactly is the premise for Netflix thriller Pieces of Her. Minkie Spiro directed the show, which is based on Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestseller of the same name. It tells the story of a young girl who discovers her mother’s dark past.
The show stars Bella Heathcote as Andy Oliver, a 911 call-center dispatcher in a sleepy Georgia town. Andy’s mother Laura (Toni Collette) is hospitalized after a violent incident that puts both of their faces in the news. Consequently, the realization that her mother is not who she thought she was turns Andy’s life upside down. Soon, both of their lives are in jeopardy, forcing Andy to flee and Laura to deal with the enemies she has created in the past.
What is promising at first becomes predictable by the end
Pieces of Her begins with a fairly straightforward backdrop of a quiet town with a mother and daughter living together. Laura, a middle-aged woman, and her daughter Andy, a 911 call-center dispatcher, are a happy duo. However, an incident turns their lives upside down by an incident. Laura is haunted by a ghost from her past and distances herself from her daughter to protect her. Andy, on the other hand, is eager to learn the truth about her mother.
Around the middle of the act, it becomes clear that both the audience and Andy are curious about who her mother is, but we are also unsure of who Andy is. She lacks a personality, has no friends, and has nothing else going on in her life besides figuring out what happened to her mother in the past. For instance, in its review, Hollywood Reporter writes, “…it becomes clear that for all the time Andy’s spent trying to piece together who her mother is, the show itself has never stopped to consider who Andy‘s supposed to be, beyond a mechanism propelling the narrative forward.”
The answers to all the questions turn out to be very obvious, despite the hints at the beginning of the show that heightened the audience’s curiosity. AV Club calls it a “a formulaic slow-burn drama” with an engaging buildup but a mediocre twists and resolution.
Collette’s performance holds together the Netflix thriller Pieces of Her
The series attempted to bring to light several significant issues such as corporate greed, government corruption, and domestic terrorism. However, these topics did not receive the attention it deserved. Instead of becoming a major part of the plot, we see minor inferences in the show.
However, Toni Collette, as always, does an outstanding job in this series, of combining all the character’s moods into a single complicated woman. Guardian praised the actress in their review, calling her “wholly credible, even in an expanding ocean of preposterousness, wholly in command of her performance, inevitably outclassing everyone but without upsetting the production.”
Pieces of Her cast
Aside from talented Toni Collette and co-star Bella Heathcote, the series also stars David Wenham as Jasper Queller, Jessica Barden as Jane. Omari Hardwick as Gordon Oliver, famous for Game of Thrones Joe Dempsie, plays Nick, Jacob Scipio as Michael Vargas. Gil Birmingham as Charlie Bass and Aaron Jeffery were also in the supporting role.
Should you stream Pieces of Her on Netflix?
Pieces of Her is currently steaming on Netflix, with episodes ranging in length from 42 minutes to one hour. If you love your slow burn thrillers, this series is just what you need.
Will you watch the show? Share your thoughts on the show in the comments.