Though Gone Girl is normally the first story that comes to mind when Gillian Flynn is mentioned, her novel Sharp Objects was also recently made into an HBO series. It tells the story of Camille Preaker, a journalist who returns to her childhood home to investigate the murder of two young girls. As Camille struggles with her difficult past, she begins to uncover how it’s entangled with the two disturbing cases.
The miniseries sticks pretty closely to the major events of the novel, a relief to fans of Flynn’s writing. The adaptation includes most of the major plot points and twists that occur in the original story, and it even enhances them by showing viewers perspectives outside of our main character’s. As can be expected, the addition of new points of view also leads to a few new scenes within the series. Thankfully, most of them enhance the story rather than hurt it.
One thing the adaptation does really well is use flashbacks to help tell the story. HBO’s Sharp Objects flashes back and forth fairly frequently, allowing viewers to fill in the gaps of the story, and the murder as well. It also handles the depravity surrounding the murders well, not holding back the disturbing nature behind them.
HBO’s Sharp Objects also captures the misogynistic values of Camille’s hometown accurately, even introducing a ridiculous holiday called Calhoun Day, a day during which Wind Gap celebrates its confederate values. Calhoun Day festivities even include a play that’s disturbing in its content, yet still performed. The holiday, which isn’t featured in Flynn’s book, clearly portrays the racist and sexist nature of Wind Gap. And that nature is present in both versions of the story.