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María José Alfonso,
YO COMPRO ESA MUJER is a Televisa classic, embodying everything that makes for excellent television drama. The story, taking place mostly at the dawn of the 20th century, concerns two lovers whose family secrets are so many and so explosive that no single character knows all of them.
When Blancaflor Montes de Oca becomes pregnant by her lover (Enrique San Roman), she is placed under house arrest at her family's country property under the watchful eye of a sadistic caretaker who takes orders only from her sister, Matilde. Enrique is arrested on a trumped-up charge bought from a corrupt military police officer by a bribe from Rodrigo, Blancaflor and Matilde's jealous and possessive cousin. When Blancaflor gives birth to a son Matilde orders their servant, Soledad, to deliver the baby to the local orphanage. She then tells Rodrigo that the infant was stillborn and secretly administers a heavy drug to Blancaflor so that she appears to be dead a few minutes later. Rodrigo returns to the city to prepare for the funeral while Matilde follows the next day behind a closed coffin. The baby boy is raised in the nearby fishing village by friends of his father until he is adopted; Rodrigo goes to Spain for the next few years and eventually marries. Enrique, certain that Blancaflor died in childbirth, dies in the jail cell seven years later after making his son promise to get revenge against Rodrigo. At this time Rodrigo and his bride come to Mexico and soon their daughter is born And this is just the prologue.
This series provided the star-making roles for Eduardo Yañez as both Enrique and his adult son, Alejandro. His slightly unconventional good looks and macho-when-it-matters attitude make for an excellent romantic hero portrayal, complete with puffy shirts and horses (mandatory accessories for heroes of romance novels) and just the right swagger of the self-made man admired by today's women. The late Eduardo Palomo, hiding behind a sinister handlebar moustache, is on hand as a minor villain during the early part of the story. We still feel the loss of this great actor, whom I regard as the Mexican Johnny Depp. Enrique Rocha and Alma Muriel (as Rodrigo and Matilde) are without doubt the king and queen of novela villains as two manipulative individuals who stop at nothing to get what they want while protecting the precious family name. Leticia Calderon, as Rodrigo's daughter (Ana Christina) is no easy victim of their machinations. She matches Alejandro for courage and intelligence as she fights for her independence... and the truth.
Other notable actors in this excellent novela include Mariana Levy as the lively Jimena, the gypsy who falls in love with a handsome law student; Luz Maria Jerez in a dual role as the servant Amalie and later as her daughter Ursula; Connie de la Mora as the tragic Blancaflor, and Mario Casillas as the honorable Raul de Marin. Cynthia Klitbo, now a famous villain, is present as a greedy young woman who marries for money and ends up in a very dangerous situation. She is so angular now that the softer look she has in this series will be a surprise to those who haven't seen it before.
Excellent sets and costumes dress the story beautifully; the reproduction of the crossing ship's decks and interiors is a visual highlight of the early episodes. Among the marvelous props in this series are the cameras of this period, with the leather bellows and necessary tripod for the large unit used in the early episodes. The incidental music includes strains of CARMEN and other operas that made their debut during the period of the story, emphasizing the operatic situations in the plot.
Although you know all the secrets up front as though you were watching an episode of COLUMBO, be prepared for the shockwaves among the characters as they are revealed.
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