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: Spanish Neo-Noir: The Body (2012)  ( 803 )
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« : August 21, 2017, 05:59:23 PM »

Seen on TV.


"Every death is a homicide until proved otherwise."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whilst talking to a friend about what TV shows they are watching, I got told about the (extended) Noir-Noir Spanish Mini-Series I Know Who You Are. Catching up on the series, I got recommended a Spanish flick that was about to be removed from the site,which led to me uncovering the body.

The plot:

Feeling sick at seeing how his millionaire wife Mayka Villaverde has lost all her good looks, Alejandro "Álex" Ulloa makes a deal with secret lover Carla to kill Mayka,and then run off together. Getting a slow-acting chemical from his workplace,Alex waits for Mayka to die,then phones up the cops to get the body. Expecting to wait for his winnings, Alex gets a call to go to the morgue. At the morgue, Alex is told by cop Jaime Peña that Mayka's body has disappeared. As Peña searches for the body,Alex gets signs that Mayka has not passed on.

View on the film:

Picking up the black leather gloves of the Giallo with Neo-Noir hands,co-writer/(with Lara Sendim) director Oriol Paulo & cinematographer Oscar Faura undress the body with an icy supernatural (bloodless) Horror/Giallo atmosphere,as ultra-stylised whip-pans across the morgue suggest a hidden figure hiding in the shadows, whilst reflections in wine glasses and circling camera moves subtly change what is being reflected at Alex. Largely taking place in one location, (with extended flashbacks) opens up the tomb of the morgue with a pristine Neo-Noir metallic shine lining the walls,which close Alex and Peña on a tightly coiled interrogations.

Offering up to Alex various rational reasons to Mayka's disappearance, the screenplay by Paulo and Sendim brilliantly keep the possible supernatural Horror ambiguous, which give the writers a chance to dig into the major Giallo theme of the ruthless upper class, via Alex having an arrogance over even looking at Peña and seeing murder as a quick path to a sack of cash.Thumping the table at Alex's refusal to answer, the writers cut prime Neo-Noir dialogue for Peña,whose initial worn-down appearance is revealed to hide a burning Noir anger.

Deconstructing the entire day from Mayka death to Alex's arrival at the mood, the writers unveil a magnificent, macabre twist, which hits thanks to the writers cleverly placing scenes where the viewer can see things from a different perspective on a second viewing. Sweating with fear over Peña unlocking the truth, Hugo Silva gives a superb performance as Alex,whose abrasive attitude Silva holds onto as a mask to hide Alex's fear. Determined to smoke out the whereabouts of Mayka (played by a glamorous Belén Rueda) Jose Coronado gives Peña an excellent hard-nosed aggression smashing Alex's arrogance, as the worn-down Noir loner look of Peña is peeled away by Coronado to reveal a sharp-calculating grip,as the body hits the floor.

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« #1 : August 22, 2017, 12:27:39 AM »

Never heard of this movie (or the TV series you mentioned), it sounds great! Have added it to my list. Where did you see it, Netflix?

'I feel all dead inside. I'm backed up in a dark corner and I don't know who's hitting me.' - The Dark Corner (1946)
cigar joe
Bounty Killer
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easy come easy go

« #2 : August 22, 2017, 08:29:00 PM »

Thanks sounds interesting indeed.

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
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« #3 : September 01, 2017, 07:34:37 PM »

Never heard of this movie (or the TV series you mentioned), it sounds great! Have added it to my list. Where did you see it, Netflix?

Thanks for the comments XHC,I caught the film on Netflix UK,and Arrow have just put the first 10 eps of the series out on disc (it was shown as one 18 ep "mini" series in Spain,but the BBC have split it in two.)

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