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‘Day Three’ finds Jude Law on mysterious islandExBulletin



Jude Law plays a man that’s over his head on HBO The third day.

Robert Ludovic / HBO


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Robert Ludovic / HBO

Jude Law plays a man that’s over his head on HBO The third day.

Robert Ludovic / HBO

A community of strange locals, speechless in their history and practices but firmly separated from most of society, is a staple of mysterious stories. The same goes for the person who comes across them, fascinated, scared and seduced by the unknown.

This is the basic configuration for The third day, a six-part HBO miniseries that premiered Monday night. Jude Law stars as Sam, a man we first meet as he is in the middle of a frantic phone call, stopped at the side of a deserted road. We quickly learn that he’s having trouble at home, but he’s also in the process of performing a ritual related to mourning his past. He meets a young teenage girl in distress, and he wants to help her and bring her home, so he follows her instructions to Osea Island. Sam finds you guessed it strange, attractive, confusing, full of mystery.

The series is divided into two parts. We will follow Sam’s story for the first three episodes, called “Summer”, and then follow a woman named Helen (Naomie Harris) and her daughters who also meet up on Osea Island for three episodes, called “Winter.” It wouldn’t be fair to explain how it all comes together in one narrative (critics received five of the six episodes, making this a challenge).

The third day is a scary mystery effective at first, setting up question after question why did this person do this? What is he talking about? What is this mysterious thing? – that he will eventually have to answer to be satisfactory. Many of these questions are answered in the first five episodes, and they come together in a cohesive fashion. The problem is, the story they tell isn’t that interesting, nor outside of the … well, the set of explanations expected for a creepy local community. It’s reminiscent of many other stories of those falling into towns where they should probably skedaddle posthaste, to the point where you could almost sketch out the options flowchart at the start of where this is all going, and you wouldn’t. to move very far from the graph at the end.

Law is a talented actor who has broadened his image since his incredibly pretty youth, and it is certainly one of his less glamorous roles. (But let’s face it: he’s still one of the most symmetrical facial actors we have.) He’s always been more interesting when used at an angle, either in a way that makes his beauty tragic ( as in The talented Mr. Ripley) or who transforms their charisma into something almost grotesque (as in Spy). Sam is certainly a tortured man with a painful history that gives Law a lot of room for emotion, but that’s the character in particular. complex? I am not sure. It sometimes feels like The third day has confusion where there should be nuance, the brutal sense that you wait for an envelope to be opened where you should feel engrossed in the fate of the characters.

The cast is solid, even outside of Law, who wears the first half: Harris is a good and protective mom, Emily Watson is fun as one of the city dwellers whose all demeanor should be a red flag to Sam, and Katherine Waterston. is just the right amount of normal like a woman explaining to Sam that she came to Osea to study him. It’s possible that choosing one of these characters, rather than Sam, to carry the first three episodes might have been wise, if only to change your point of view.

It’s hard to hit a show that knows what its mood is (in this case, creeping terror) and chases after it. Genre tracks feel like the genres they belong to, and it’s unfair to go crazy about them for that. But there’s something that never quite takes off about those five installments (I’d like to tell you if the sixth fixes the problem, but who knows?). The setting is there, but there is something disappointing about the reveals, and a little hollow. You want the solving of a mystery to be as big as an essay, not just a multiple choice question where you can finally circle the correct answer.

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