Reviews Television

TIFF 2019: Rosario Dawson Faces Chaos and Crazy in BRIARPATCH

Lauren reviews Rosario Dawson's newest television series.

Under the warm-toned hues of a blisteringly hot Texas town, Allegra Dill (Rosario Dawson) steps off a plane in a pristine white suit, her jacket effortlessly hanging over her shoulders, looking like she’s prepared for anything and everything. And prepared she must be for what lays ahead of her in this small town.

In the first two episodes of Andy Greenwald’s Briarpatch, adapted from the novel of the same name by Ross Thomas, we are introduced to an assortment of quirky and over-the-top characters that populate this ambiguous town, including some non-human characters: the escaped animals of the local zoo. 

Briarpatch (2019) – source: USA Network

We soon learn the reason for Allegra’s visit is the sudden murder of her sister, and this is not only the town her sister lived and worked in, this is Allegra’s hometown. Now, Allegra must face both new faces and familiar ones, including a childhood best friend who came into a lot of money (in questionable ways). 

Rosario Dawson perfectly encapsulates the (seemingly) sweat-proof and not-taking-any-bullshit personality of her character, following her own path through a storm of people who attempt to tell her what she should be doing and who she should be. Her motives are muddy, as we learn the specifics of her work and the relationship she had with her sister, but nevertheless, she is not letting anybody or anything get in the way of her objective (including a car-bomb). 

Briarpatch (2019) – source: USA Network

Perfectly described by Andy Greenwald, Dill is the knife that cut through this town. Everyone seems to have something to say about the recent string of murders and she is here to set it all straight in one way or another. She glides through the scenes in her perfectly fitted suits, completely out of place compared to the rest of the population of this town, and she is not there to mess around. 

It’s so beautifully directed that the incredible framing of this small Texas town is hard to ignore, it would be near impossible for me to put into words the beauty that this crew has achieved in capturing everything, from the directing to the costume design to the editing. 

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