In the MARSHLAND a serial killer is on the loose. Two homicide detectives who appear to be poles apart must settle their differences and bring the murderer to justice before more young women lose their lives.
The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
Inspector Nick Cafmeyer seems to have it all - looks, brains and a successful career. But a dark cloud hangs over his life: since the age of nine, he has been haunted by the unsolved ... See full summary »
Geert Van Rampelberg,
Johan van Assche
It is summertime in a blue-collar, marginal district of a city in the South of Spain. Tano, a teenager currently serving a sentence in a juvenile reform center, is given a 48-hour leave to ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
Police find two bodies at an old murder scene and evidence to suggest the scene's first victim's husband is a murderer. Coincidentally, the husband receives clues suggesting his deceased wife is actually alive and begins to investigate.
El Bola, a 12 year old boy a.k.a. "Pellet" is a 12 year old boy raised in a violent and sordid environment. Embarrassed by his family life, he avoids becoming close to classmates. The ... See full summary »
Juan José Ballesta,
The father of an ill girl tries to obtain her daughter last wish, the dress of the main character of a Japanese TV series. Because of this last wish he will meet a disturbed girl and a retired professor.
Raimundo de los Reyes
The Spanish deep South, 1980. A series of brutal murders of adolescent girls in a remote and forgotten town bring together two disparate characters - both detectives in the homicide division - to investigate the cases. With deep divisions in their ideology, detectives Juan and Pedro must put aside their differences if they are to successfully hunt down a killer who for years has terrorized a community in the shadow of a general disregard for women rooted in a misogynistic past. Written by
In the vain of True Detective (2014) but with the intensity (and pretentiousness) dialled down a couple of notches. This was compulsive, engaging and entertaining throughout.
I watched with the original Spanish audio and Spanish subtitles so I can't really comment on the quality of the script because my level of understanding was at about 70-80%.
The pacing was even, there weren't any unnecessarily drawn out scenes and everybody behaved in a realistic manner. The acting from the leads was superb but some of the supporting cast were quite wooden and most of the photographs used in the film were extremely posed. Those are minor critiques though; the only thing that really irks me is that no matter how well these films are made, and no matter how sensitively the subject matter is broached, they always feel a little gratuitous, hence why they usually lose one or two points from me. I watched The Treatment (2014) a while ago and both of these films currently have roughly the same IMDb score. Clearly then, ratings are hugely affected by the emotional impact of dealing with sexual abuse and murder. La Isla Mínima was, in my opinion, markedly better than The Treatment and I hope its rating increases to reflect this.
Another reason this film was more satisfying than others in its genre is that the police behave in a realistic manner - granted this is part of the commentary on the culture in this part of the world and what police have to resort to in order to protect their own people, but it still felt satisfying from a plot perspective and as an audience member. The final confrontation was horrific and yet entirely necessary. The film needed it and this was also entirely in keeping with the characters and the message of the film. Obviously, each will take away their own views but for me, the 'very' end made me question my earlier conviction that the final confrontation was 'justified': isn't that what everyone says to justify their actions?
If you enjoy films in this genre then it's an obvious choice 8/10.
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