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.
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
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?
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
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,
Five close friends, all of them married, share a loft to meet their mistresses. One day they find the body of a young woman in the loft. Since there are only five keys to the loft, the five men begin to suspect each other of murder.
Erik Van Looy
Koen De Bouw,
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 »
What a satisfying movie this was. I love hardcore crimers and this is a great example of its genre. It shows just how corrupted the authorities really were in the 1980's rural Spain without losing touch with its relatively complex plot.
The setup is familiar; two city detectives investigate a series of killings in provincial Spain. I wouldn't know where exactly this area is, but I'm guessing it's the marshlands in Andalucia (my bad if I missed any other detail, I was excited to see the movie so I might have overlooked something). Anyway, it all gets very much complicated as the investigation moves forward and more people are implicated in the case. I'm not going to spoil anything, but be warned that this is not just your usual straightforward murder mystery, as it is also a detailed look into a country shaken by political instability and corruption within the authorities. That said, there are some obvious similarities with other crime-thrillers like Memories of Murder or Red Riding (which I both heartily recommend), or TV shows like True Detective (although I'm not sure about this since I haven't started following TD yet).
The acting is more than solid, especially good are the two main leads. Pedro's character was more likable than Juan's, partially because he despises Franco's regime and its legacy, while Juan didn't seem to care much about that. His share of problems stems from some ugly acts in the past and that is reflected in his often violent work methods. Yet, there is no denying both actors did a splendid job and had no problem dealing with their roles' demands. An interesting bit are a couple of symbol-heavy scenes that include Juan and a bird seemingly staring at each other; one might ramble that the bird represents a new era for the country, a fresh beginning if you like (as it can fly away anytime it wants), while Juan is a man tormented by a violent past he can't escape.
But what I really delighted in was the exceptional cinematography. The movie looks fantastic and every detail is captured in beautifully placed shots. The marshlands are bathed in vivid colors, especially during the sunset. Camera-work is top-notch; I guess mr. Catalan really knows what he is doing. Thankfully, he was also rewarded for his work.
In short, this is a dark, expertly paced thriller that remains ambiguous even after the satisfying conclusion. Definitely recommended if you're into movies like this.
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