Shining Girls Early Review: Elisabeth Moss effortlessly leads this compelling, mind-bending mystery thriller

Elisabeth Moss shines as a traumatised, time-traveling newspaper reporter on the hunt for a serial murderer.

Updated on May 01, 2022 02:55 AM IST  |  273.2K
Shining Girls Early Review
Elisabeth Moss effortlessly leads this compelling, mind-bending mystery thriller
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Shining Girls

Shining Girls Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Wagner Moura, Jamie Bell

Shining Girls Director: Michelle MacLaren

Shining Girls Platform: Apple Tv+



After her roles in Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale, and Leigh Whannel's The Invisible Man, it's no surprise that Elisabeth Moss is starring in another narrative about a woman who refuses to be a victim and instead takes charge of her circumstances. It is difficult to define how and when the narrative of Shining Girls began for reasons that will become evident in later episodes. Kirby Mazrachi (Elisabeth Moss) is the primary character, an archivist at the Chicago Sun-Times who has been assaulted by a strange guy called Harper (Jamie Bell). Kirby traces out ties between her assault and the killings of numerous women by partnering with sceptical journalist Dan Velazquez.



For a time, the majority of the first episode of Shining Girls is focused on Kirby, who doesn't appear to know where she is. Eventually, the scene shifts to reporter Dan, who has a news item about a corpse discovered in the LaSalle tunnels. When Kirby learns of the murder, she meets with an elderly cop who requests that she review some picture IDs. However, since she never saw him, she won't, which means her attacker might be anybody. When Kirby gets home, a dog (Grendel) emerges, and she records it in her notebook. Meanwhile, while at work, Kirby snoops through murder-related notes and discovers the address of the potential culprit. She goes over to the suspect's residence and chats with him. Kirby enters the house, hesitantly, to speak with Pavel. He claims that he did not inflict any harm on Julia and that he had only known her for five months. Kirby realises from his voice that he is not the same guy who assaulted her. Then, Dan takes Kirby to a restaurant after seeing her near the home, apparently concerned. She admits that her assault happened six years ago and that the killer cut her similarly to Julia. The only difference is that Kirby is still alive. Kirby accepts to be inspected by Iris as part of the inquiry. However, once her wounds are investigated, Iris transforms into Howard. It frightens Kirby, and the examination comes to an abrupt halt. "Nothing is where it should be; I don't recognise it anymore," she later tells her mother. It begins with little things and progresses to larger ones." With her mother probably not comprehending the whole issue, Rachel tells her daughter to solve her difficulties where she is, rather than shift to another city.

ALSO READ:Shining Girls Trailer: Elisabeth Moss teams up with Wagner Moura to hunt down a time-traveling serial killer

In the way it unpacks the reality-shifted consequences of trauma, the first episode of Shining Girls is a conceptual treasure mine, and Moss is more than equal to the task of a difficult part like this one. Her portrayal seemed a touch overly mannered at first, but she appears to acclimate to the intensity as Kirby gains confidence in the notion that she isn't insane. Moss is just one of the finest actors of her time, the kind of performer who can sell an absurd concept like this one. Jamie Bell, who gives one of his greatest performances in a genuinely threatening, horrifying performance, keeps her in check. Harper is the kind of serial killer who doesn't hide in the shadows; he follows his victims openly, with the confidence of Christian Bale in "American Psycho." There's something frightening about his choice of accent and almost pleasant delivery. Stalkers and abusers may believe they have complete power over the world. This one actually does. He is an all-encompassing nightmare whose unassuming status makes him all the more terrifying. But, at the same time, he is one of the most anchoring forces in this early episode, one of the few things we know to be real about the world on our screens. As bewildering as Kirby's point of view is, and as untrustworthy a narrator as she often seems, Shining Girls lets us see for ourselves that, at least, in this case, she's not incorrect.


The whole effect of the series is extremely creative, but since this series isn't a binge, it's difficult to say if its ambitious plot will finally pay off. I really hope it does. This first epsiode is enthralling, scary, and unlike anything else on television right now. To sum up, Shining Girls' first episode looks like a murder mystery that seems to be trying its best to concentrate on the very women who would be written off as victims on most other shows. It is as much about how to recover from trauma as it is about finding a murderer. Although, in the universe of this series, they may be the same thing. Yes, I believe this is all intended to make us, as viewers, feel as bewildered as Kirby feels, and I have no clue where this is all going, but I know I can't wait to find out.



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