Inspectors Velarde and Alfaro must find what appears to be a serial killer. This hunt against the clock will make them realize something they'd never thought about: neither one of them is that different from the killer.
Antonio de la Torre,
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
Shattered by the unexpected news of their irreversible break-up, an aspiring orchestra conductor is puzzled by his girlfriend's mysterious and seemingly inexplicable case of disappearance. But, can he look beyond the facts?
María Soledad Rodríguez
The story of a man who fooled an entire country. A tale of cheats and impostors, taking its inspiration from true facts and from one of the most intriguing characters of recent decades: the spy Francisco Paesa.
Miquel García Borda
An accidental discovery near a doctor's estate stirs up some painful memories eight years after his wife's hideous murder, and now, things are bound to take a turn for the unexpected. Does the good doctor know more than he's letting on?
A hard-working single mother and wife of a getaway driver who is about to be released is approached by an unassuming and gentle man, completely unaware though of his inscrutable and utterly impelling motives.
Antonio de la Torre,
1980. In a little town close to Coto of Doñana (Andalusia, south to Spain), two teen girls have disappeared. The father of one of the girls, who have connections with important people in the forces of the law, gets that two police detectives of homicides from Madrid are assigned to the mission to find the girls if they are alive, or find the assassin if they appear died. The detectives are Pedro Suárez and Juan Robles. While that Suárez is a young, taciturn and circumspect agent in a Spain that it tries to find a new identity as democratic country after General Franco's death in 1975, Robles is a veteran, funny and expeditious agent, with a mysterious past as alleged member of Franco's Armed Police dismantled in 1978. Unable to reconcile one with each other, Suárez and Robles find trapped by the hostile environment of a place where the old Franco's methods and customs still alive, and where they two aren't welcome. When the girls appears died, the following investigation move the cops...Written by
Aerial photographs at the beginning of the film and others that you can see over it, were digitalized by Israel Millan from photographs of Hector Garrido. This photographer has published a book, "Armonía fractal de Doñana y las marismas" (Fractal Harmony of Doñana and marshes) which includes some of the images used in the film. The images correspond to various marshes of Andalucia, such as the ones of Coto Doñana and the Salinas de San Fernando in Cádiz. See more »
Marshland is what you would call a slow burn, as there isn't a ton of action, nor is it fast paced. However, it is an entertaining and intriguing police procedural that takes place in a rural town in the south of Spain during 1980. The effects of the Franco dictatorship still muddy the waters; we see his name spray-painted on walls, while his influence still reverberates with many people in the town. The political climate of the region is what separates this film from any number of murder mystery/police procedure films. We see and hear about many workers' strikes and how they are effecting the small town. Politics hang over the entire case from beginning to end, constantly providing obstacles, giving the film its own identity.
Solving a murder case in a Spaniard rural town in 1980 is one mighty challenge. Those wanted by the police are hard to find within the marshlands of the area, presenting another barrier for normal police work. I'm guessing that is where the name came from. This is the type of challenge that detectives Juan (Javier Gutiérrez) and Pedro (Raúl Arévalo) are facing. While investigating the death and mutilation of two girls found in a swamp, they find out that they are dealing with a serial killer. Two other girls lost their lives in similar ways, on almost the same dates, in both 1978 and 1979. Complicating matters is the fact that the two detectives beliefs and ideals seem to be polar opposites. They do indeed butt heads on occasion, but for the most part, both stay loyal to their partner. However, their differences make each encounter with suspects or witnesses interesting, as we see how each man handles certain incidents.
In addition to this police investigation we have an interesting character study, as we get to know both Pedro and Juan. They are brought together as partners because, while working in Madrid, Pedro wrote an angry letter to a newspaper about the government. He is later told 'this country isn't used to Democracy yet' and that he can't mouth off about the government. Pedro of course sees it in another way. His punishment, for writing a letter, was a transfer to a rural town that everyone wants to leave, according to the locals, and we never quite know what his motives are. He wants to solve the case, of course, but is he emotionally interested? Or does he just want a ticket back to Madrid and the comforts, including his family, which will be waiting for him? He seems annoyed that he has been shuttled off to a rural town, but as the case moves forward his passion rises and soon he will seemingly do anything to catch the killer.
Juan is the complete opposite of Pedro. While Pedro maintains his composure for most of the film, Juan loses his cool several times with suspects, threatening and harming them to get information, as if he were policing for the old world: Spain before it became a democracy. This casts a shadow over his character, as we doubt whether his motives are pure. He is also the more persuasive of the two, whether with suspects or with his own partner, he seems to enjoy manipulating people for his own pleasure. It also becomes obvious that he is not a happy man, he is in pain, and we hear nothing about his family. He displays a nonchalant attitude towards the case initially, but as it progresses his actions speak loudly.
Both characters have great arcs that are three-dimensional and complex.
The setting is well recognised, as the cars, haircuts and mustaches certainly point to the late 70's/early 80's. Also worth mentioning is the sublime photography. Not only is the entire movie immaculately captured, especially one scene where the camera tracks Pedro racing after a potential suspect, but what will stick in your mind is the amazing aerial shots. These images help to put the murder case in perspective to the problems the entire country is suffering from. This top-down aerial photography is most prevalent – and incredible – during the starting credits of the film. As a subtle bass line plays under soft acoustic guitars, we see the marshes of Andaluci. They look stunning, and the marshes serve as the perfect setting for majority of the movie to take place.
If you enjoy murder mysteries, Marshland is highly recommended as the Spanish flavour and its political undertones make this film stand out from others in the genre. Even if the genre isn't your cup of tea, Marshland is still worth a watch thanks to its rich characters and the political backdrop of Spain in 1980.
42 of 45 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this