THE COMMERCIAL FILM OF THE WEEK
MIST & THE MAIDEN (LA NIEBLA Y LA DONCELLA) (2017) by Andrés M. Koppel
“Never it is close enough to the truth”
Not all Spanish cinema has to be good, or at least have the same quality (in all senses) as “The Fury of a Patient Man” (Tarde para la Ira”) (Raúl Arévalo, 2016). Not all performances have to be as expressive and direct as that of José Coronado (Santos Trinidad) in “No rest for the wicked” (“No habrá paz para los malvados”) (Enrique Urbizu, 2011). We have that clear, and of course the positive thing is that the genre continues to invoice entertaining films. “Mist & the Maiden” (“La niebla y la doncella”) (Andrés M. Koppel, 2017) is entertaining, plays well with the shadows and draws characters that do not fall at all in the torpor, but also fail to capture the full attention of the viewer. As everyone knows, the film is based, perhaps inspired (which is when it does not look like much, but has the same name to sell it in theaters) in the novel by Lorenzo Silva. The story tells of an unsolved murder on the island of La Gomera, and how peninsular policemen have to go to the island to try to solve the case. Agents who lack personality and character, who navigate between apathy and parsimony. Of course what you find there is a mystery that goes beyond murder, because they live within the island ecosystem being trapped in their lies, caciquismo and fear.
Quim Gutiérrez remains sober as Sergeant Bevilacqua, although for the moment we feel the weight of his existence, as he languishes crawling through the film without too much conviction, but the real mistake of the footage is to have Aura Garrido as Corporal Chamorro. Aura appears, disappears and is lost in a thousand and one places, its presence is completely unnecessary. We attended astonished a succession of scenes where the agent Anglada, a decaffeinated Veronica Echegui, is lurching the screen in search of nothing, doing nothing and leaving us clues of a romance / work, with his superior. One of those unfinished love stories that surely have something to do with the central plot, something that is glimpsed from the beginning, a start that seems another thing, with persecution, but in the end it is not so much. In the movies there are two loves, but neither of them has the slightest interest, Quim and Veronica seem destined to rub a lot in bed but express very little, with which to believe that in that “couple” there may be something more than the physical, is to be very elegant in criticism. As a strong point of the film we have the photography, the setting, the places and little else.
La Gomera is magnificent and disturbing, a perfect place for unresolved crimes and ruthless assassins in the heat of the fog, but in the end everything that surrounds the story is just that, an adornment, little else. It is true that to close the first act we attend a script that during the subsequent seconds leaves you with the feeling of not knowing well-well, what is happening in the story. In that part you can come to think that all the ordeal lived in the previous minutes is worth it, because surely the murderer is someone you do not expect and who has always been in front of your nose. For a moment, everyone could be the murderer, even your seatmate, but it’s just a mirage, the end is suddenly revealed to us abruptly, with a revelation in the funeral home. A vision of Bevilacqua that transports the murderer almost without realizing it, as if it were Colombo. A little dust from the victim incinerated in Anglada’s body. In the end it is all very confusing, and during the story the thread is lost on several occasions, something that makes you disconnect your mind from concentration and interest evaporates.
Traducido por: Eduardo Llorente.
Our rating: (1/5)