Genre : Drama; Mystery
Director : Multiple Directors
Platform : Netflix
One of Us is Lying fulfils all our high school murder mystery cravings. With a fascinating central mystery and characters full of deceit, the show is able to make a mark and easily becomes one of my favourite shows of the year.
One of Us is Lying is about a group five high school students who get a detention. Within a few minutes in detention, Simon suffers from an allergic reaction and dies. Soon, the police realises that this incident may not be an accident but the work of a clever murderer. Thus, suspicion arises and the remaining four students become the most likely murder suspects.
This premise is intriguing and credits needs to be given to its source material. The show is based on a 2017 novel written by Karen M. McManus. This is a book that every mystery book lover would have come across on the internet at least once. The Woman in the Window made me realize not all popular books become into a good movie. This elevated my apprehensions for One of Us is Lying.
However, all my hesitation diluted as I binged my way through the second episode. At this point, we got a detailed description of the evidences and theories the detectives came up with. The detective’s visit to school not only made us question the four protagonists but it also initiated the much-awaited chaos.
One of the crucial parts of the story is ‘About That’. It is a blog that Simon unofficially manages which aims at exposing secrets of the students. Whenever the students get a notification from ‘About That’, it is a signal that one student’s life is going to turn upside down. One of the sub plots caters at finding the new mastermind of ‘About That’, knowing the fact that Simon is dead. Thus, the several sub plots tie compellingly to form a tensed show.
The gossip girl-like blog constantly exposes secrets and we keep our fingers crossed so that our favourite characters don’t fall into more trouble. However, all protagonist’s lies add to multi fold. Soon there comes a point where we aren’t even sure if the people who we are rooting for can be trusted. Recently I watched the Death on the Nile and in that too, there were multiple suspects having ulterior motives. It being a two-hour long movie with around 10 characters made the characters arcs just defined by dialogues. One of Us is Lying has the advantage and it takes it.
It also takes advantage of the soundtrack. The sequences are perfectly complimented by the soundtracks. In one scene, a character is sitting inside the detective’s office and they explicitly lie to the detective’s face. In argument the detective shows a new found proof. Now the character is in deep trouble and Olivia Roderigo’s Brutal starts playing. The lyrics says, “They say these are the golden years. But I wish I could disappear. Ego crush is so severe. God, it’s brutal out here.” The song couldn’t be more apt.
The show is visually different as well. The scenes have yellow and orange shades, giving it a summer like feel. In some moments it also gives us nostalgia.
In conclusion, this mystery should not be missed. The hatred I developed for the killer in the end is unmatched and the end’s cliff-hanger could not be more surprising. The book series consists of 4 books, so we might expect four more seasons to binge on. Currently, the second season is in production.
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An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.