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Has the satire and humour of Big Little Lies been lost in translation? // The Guardian

Moriarty is a bestselling author in the US, but it’s only recently that she’s become known in her home country; it was therefore inevitable that the adaptation would be an overseas production – and it’s a very, very great one, too. But when it comes to transferring something as indebted to its specific location as Big Little Lies to a different place, the less precious and beholden to the source material the better; it’s better to capture the intended atmosphere of the book than force rigid adherence to a story that may or may not fit.

From its mysterious opening, to the Greek chorus of talking heads who offer a series of peripheral observations in the aftermath of the trivia night tragedy, Big Little Lies has staunchly adhered to the story laid out in Liane Moriarty’s novel – with the exception of some narrative padding in the later episodes. The added backstory, David E Kelley’s writing, Jean-Marc Vallée’s direction and the stunning performances giving depth to these characters, but there’s still something missing in the transfer, something that made Moriarty’s words so entertaining and so tragic: the satire at the centre of it.

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