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
The time is the early eighties. Two detectives, a good-cop (Pedro) bad-cop (Juan) pairing, are sent to a remote region in Spain to investigate the disappearance of teenage sisters. They uncover a series of brutal murders that the tight-knit community may be complicit in. Set in a Spain slowly emerging from Franco's shadow, Marshland has a wonderfully political noir-ish tone. Opening with birds-eye shots of an other-worldy landscape, that the camera often returns to, the futility and inhumanity of the toils that take place on the ground is constantly invoked by the judicious shot choice. Pedro and Juan have personal concerns beyond the investigation. Pedro's wife is pregnant and not always trusting of him in their separation. Juan has failing health and may not be long for this world. They bring their past as well as their present: Juan was in Franco's Gestapo and may have carried out atrocities, Pedro is being punished for open criticism of the military. They deal with these issues as best they can while navigating local resistance to their investigation and their own wary sense of each other. The characters, setting, tone and pace are all compelling, and the overhead shots add wonder and mystery. There are hints of Mississippi Burning here, and also True Detective and Chinatown - a local oligarch seems amoral and ultimately goes unpunished. But the film wears these influences lightly and portrays its own authentic, self-contained world. This is a stylish thriller that comfortably meshes plot, politics and personal concerns.
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