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: Spanish Neo-Noir: I Know Who You Are (2017) (Mini-Series)  ( 1058 )
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« : January 04, 2018, 08:48:53 PM »

Seen on TV. My top first time viewing of 2017.



After the extraordinary Follow The Money ended earlier this year,I began to wonder if I would find any other series screened in 2017 that would match the quality of FTM. Whilst reading up about what UK DVD/Blu-Ray company Arrow were putting out later this year,I found a number of reviews highly praising a recently aired Spanish Neo-Noir "mini-series" that Arrow were to put out soon. Recently impressed with the Spanish Neo-Noir film The Body,I got set to see the genre presented in an extended format.

The plot:

On a road police are told of a man walking round who appears completely disorientated. Taking him to hospital,it is soon discovered that the man has lost his memory,and does not even know his name. Finding that he matches the description of mega-lawyer Juan Elías. Calling his family in, Elías looks at all of them like total strangers. Last seeing him in the final day of a college president election,the family ask him where he has been,but just get a blank look. As cops try to re-trace Juan's steps,they find out that Elías niece Ana Saura went missing on the same day,and has yet to be found.

View on the mini-series:

Planned as two 10 ep seasons but changed to one 16 ep "mini-series" due to differences with the network,the writers (led by co-director Pau Freixas & Pol Cortecans) incredibly build the themes of the series with a consistent tone that spans episodes with movie-worthy run times of 78-110 minutes. Finding Juan on the road as a Neo-Noir loner with no memory of the shadowy figures and events in his past, the writers display a sharp precession in placing together all of the fractured puzzle pieces in Juan's family and business activities. Threading Juan regaining his memory with the missing Saura,the writers give the mystery a Nordic Noir atmosphere, by Saura's disappearance being tangled with the murky dealings of Elías clan.

Striking at the heart of this Neo-Noir epic with a richly cynical,sun-kissed final, the writers give each Elías family member a jet-black line in ruthlessness,from son Pol's doubts over Juan's lost memory,to mother Alicia ruling the family with an iron fist.
The only figure Juan remembers, Aida Folch gives a splendid performance as Juan's former lover Eva Durán,whose lingering love for Juan is given seeds of doubt by Folch over the honesty of his missing memory. Whilst not having the look of a Femme Fatale, Blanca Portillo gives a thunderous performance as Alicia,with Portillo subtly changing the tone of her voice in each exchange,to pull the person Alicia is targeting tightly round her Femme Fatale fingers. In the middle of an outstanding ensemble cast, Francesc Garrido draws an incredibly complex Neo-Noir loner in Juan Elías, thanks to Garrido giving Juan a psychological depth with an enticing, simmering calmness,which keeps his true motives just out of sight from family and friends,as Juan Elías remembers who you are.

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