Sharp Objects: Let's Talk Fucked Up Families
Sharp Objects is the 2006 debut novel by Gillian Flynn recently turned limited series by good ol’ HBO. Being that HBO has all the hits and Gone Girl was a gem, I was interested to watch this adaptation. Though I haven’t read the book (it’s on my ever-growing list of things to do), I’m curious as to how the series compares to it. Sharp Objects chronicles a St. Louis journalist’s, Camille, journey back to her home town after the murder of a second teenage girl made headlines. Camille’s editor/boss and friend, Curry, tasked her to investigate the murders and write about her findings. Aside from the strange similarities between the murders, we are sucked into Camille’s life and the toxicity dwelling within her family.
What I’m saying is: Camille is pretty fucked up and the more that’s revealed, the more we understand. For starters, she’s a functioning alcoholic, suffers from mental illness and was a chronic cutter, carving words like “Vanish” and “Cherry” that covers her entire body. As the viewer, you’re both horrified and curious as to what happened in Camille’s life. With patience, comes great reward. When Camille returns to her home town, we’re introduced to her mother, Adora, step-father, Alan, and half-sister, Amma. They live in Camille’s childhood home, a massive plantation house, which doubles as the place where her other half-sister, Marian, died years earlier. Because Camille left home as soon as she was able, she doesn’t have a relationship with her surviving half-sister.
Through various flashbacks, we’re given the impression that Camille and Marian were inseparable. The more ill Marian became, the more Camille’s life spun out of control. Adora, thought Camille was rebellious and resented her independence. Adora even revealed to Camille that she never loved her. Hell, Marian’s death alone is enough to push anyone to and over the edge but adding the other rancid layers only perpetuated Camille’s downward spiral.
One aspect of this tragic tale I wanted to touch on is family toxicity. We, or someone we know, moves through life swallowing the shitty things their family has said/done. I’d like to think majority of these people don’t experience the level of toxicity Camille’s family was dishing out. For some of us, the most important relationship is with parents, especially the mother-daughter/father-son dynamics. Let’s touch on the mother-daughter relationship. Personally, I love my mother but don’t have the closest relationship with her. Like Camille, there’s a level of toxicity in our relationship such as a lack of understanding and responsibility for one’s actions. Though I know my mother loves me, I really felt Camille’s hurt when Adora expressed that she didn’t love her or the overall way she regarded Camille. It was especially triggering when Adora was arrested, she was genuinely shocked which spoke volumes about her delusion. Granted, I’m grateful that my relationship with my mother isn’t this extreme, but I do desire a healthier relationship betwixt us.
Enough of my sad life. Sharp Objects is worth the binge-watch and emotional ride. I’m sure the book will be much grittier than the limited series, but I’m looking forward to reading it.