Sunday, May 28, 2017

La isla mínima (Marshland) (2014)

Director: Alberto Rodriguez
Writers: Alberto Rodriguez, Rafael Cobos
DOP: Alex Catalan
Cast: Raul Arevalo, Javier Guiterrez, Nerea Barros
Language: Spanish

In the Marshland a serial killer is on the loose. Two homicide detectives who appear to be poles apart must settle their differences and bring the murderer to justice before more young women lose their lives.

Film is set in 1980 Andalusia, Spain as it is transitioning to a democracy after the end of Franco's regime. The older detective is the product of the previous regime while the younger one is from the present times with little respect for authority. The film has been compared with first season of True Detective and you can see that the comparison is not only coming because of the surreal marshy settings but also because of the dynamics between the two leads. To add to the similarities, it also ends with some loose ends not tied up together. The village in which the killings took place and the local police are a bit antagonistic towards the detectives and they are not very forthcoming in terms of divulging what they know. The film is not really about the plot or how ingenious their solving of crime is but rather about the atmosphere and mood it conveys.

It is a great watch overall with excellent performances from the two lead actors. The color tone and camera angles are such that you won't get the full glory of its cinematography on a small screen but you still can feel that it was very well done. Several of Sergio Leone's Western classics were set in Andalusia and you do get a feel of that even though the location is marshy and not a desert. It is a pretty cool watch.

Rating: 4/5