‘Mosaic’ is a murder mystery that has been created by Palme d’Or winning director Steven Soderbergh, who is also known for works like ‘Erin Brockovich‘, ‘Logan Lucky‘, and the ‘Ocean’s‘ trilogy. While it was initially conceived of in 2017 and published via HBO as an iOS and Android mobile app, the show also airs on HBO itself, as a drama series, and first premiered on January 22, 2018. Notably, in the app format, ‘Mosaic’ is intended to be an interactive movie-like experience. You must be thinking that this makes it something like Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch‘.
While shows like ‘Mosaic’ did mark a shift in the entertainment industry towards making their content more interactive, and thus inclusive and immersive, in Soderbergh’s show, users cannot affect the plot. They can merely view the story from different perspectives, thus learning the facets in the plot and how it is viewed. They can also investigate background documents related to the plot on their own time, like emails and police reports, in the ‘Discoveries’ option.
Notably, in the series format, the plot is pretty much the same, but there is no interactivity, and it is slightly shorter in length than the app. The plot is basically a whodunnit which is based on the murder of Olivia Lake, popular children’s book author and illustrator. The way the plot branched out and eventually left the viewers hungry for more has worked wonders for the show. Critics too have praised it, saying, “Mosaic has enough moving parts – and fine performances – to deliver a gratifying murder-mystery plot, though its jumbled structure and heavy-handed narrative may still leave viewers slightly wanting”.
Mosaic Cast: Who is in it?
Sharon Stone (famous for ‘Basic Instinct‘) plays Olivia Lake, the author, and illustrator of children’s books. Garrett Hedlund of ‘Troy‘ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis‘ fame plays the part of Joel Hurley, who is an aspiring artist living on Olivia’s property. Frederick Weller appears as Eric Neill, Olivia’s suitor, who is actually a conman.
Another notable cast members is Jennifer Ferrin in the role of Petra Neill, Eric’s sister, who believes her brother is innocent of the murder of Olivia and fights to exonerate him. Maya Kazan of ‘Frances Ha’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ fame appears as Laura Hurley, Joel’s wife. Jeremy Bobb is seen playing Frank Scott, Joel’s best friend while Allison Tolman of ‘Fargo‘ fame plays Amy Lambson, Eric’s attorney.
The people in Olivia’s life includes Michael O’Connor, played by James Ransone, Olivia’s billionaire neighbor who was raised by her. Michael Cerveris’ Tom Davis appears as O’Connor’s right-hand man. Paul Reubens plays JC Schiffer, Olivia’s best friend and confidante. On the law enforcement side of things, there is Devin Ratray as Nate Henry, a local detective, and Beau Bridges as Alan Pape, a corrupt sheriff.