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The story takes place in the outskirts of Mexico City in Bordo DE Xochiaca (a landfill), where a girl Esmeralda 12 years old who is always "disheveled and dirty" like a "Stray Cat" (una "... See full summary »
Rafaela was a good novela, but it had the potential of being an excellent novela if only the production team kept some things into consideration. This is an adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela by the same name produced in 1977. Rafaela is a young graduate doctor from a poor background who comes to the hospital owned by her biological father Rafael to seek a job as a doctor. Rafael abandoned Rafaela's mother when she was pregnant, and Rafaela wants nothing to do with her father. At the hospital she meets Dr Jose Maria, a handsome chauvinistic doctor and womanizer with whom Rafaela will later fall in love with. But there are elements that want to separate them like Morelia, Rafael's high-society wife who is concerned with the scandal that will ruin their reputation about her husband's illegitimate daughter & Mireya, Jose Maria's wife who comes back into his life to manipulate him.
The adaptation team could have done a better job at the story by keeping the essentials of the old script & then adapting it to modern times because at the beginning, they tried too much to stick to the old script with stuff that didn't not make sense in today's world (eg Caridad's ignorance & illiteracy). Also, to show that Rafaela was born in poverty, they could have placed her family home in a barrio/vencindad instead of some shack near the mountains. But the writers started to improve on the writing (slightly) when the ratings in Mexico began dropping and decided to deviate a little from the original script (eg in the original Rafaela became pregnant from Jose Maria, and this wouldn't make sense considering that she is a brilliant doctor with knowledge of using contraceptives, etc). But the novela did an excellent job of showing a hospital set-up, using medical terms, therefore making it very realistic.
The cast was excellent, especially Venezuelan actress Scarlet Ortiz as Rafaela, since this was her official Mexican debut in Televisa. I do hope that she can be selected as the protagonist in other future Televisa novelas. However, I didn't like the casting of Jorge Poza as Jose Maria because he did not fit perfectly into the role. The producers could have selected another actor like Gabriel Soto or Fernando Colugna to play the role of Jose Maria, as they would have had great chemistry with Ortiz. Even the actor who later came as Rafaela's secondary love interest would have been a good choice for Jose Maria rather than Poza.
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