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
Rodriguez's movie set in the Guadalquivir marshland and rural Sevilla when Spain's democracy was at its infancy is poetic and artistic, yet if flows fluidly. Its 10 awards -including Best Photography- at the Goya 2015 edition are well deserved, and it establishes Alberto Rodríguez as a director to look out for. Gutierrez's (Juan) and Arevalo's (Pedro) interpretations are powerful and convincing. Juan is an ambiguous and complex character, though I found certain aspects of his personality and biography (or rather, their combination) a bit artificial. The gist of the plot reminded me of a famous crime which took place in a Valencia village in the early 90s, but I doubt that was Rodriguez's and Cobo's intention. Apparently they wrote the script some 10 years ago, but only recently they thought of setting the action in the early 80s (from what I gathered, before the attempted coup and the socialists' victory). Although I would have preferred the end to shed a bit more light on a couple of things, this thriller is gripping, well-structured, well-interpreted (kudos also to Nerea Barros) and entertaining throughout. Excellent music and photography, too.
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