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FLICKS: Marshland

Posted on 20 August 2015 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


In Spanish Language with English subtitles, Marshland (La isla mínima) opens tomorrow in area theaters. It is a gritty crime procedural that is simplistically presented with static cinematography. This simplicity is deceptive.

The setting is a marshland near Villafranco, Spain, circa 1980. Though Generalissimo Francisco Franco had been dead for five years, the ghost of his dictatorship remains. There seems to be a seasonal crime wave during harvest season. During an annual festival, two teenage girls disappear.

Two detectives are called in to investigate. While both detectives have different political views about law enforcement, both individuals also have unrelated skeletons in their closet. However, when the two girls are found brutally and shamefully murdered, the two detectives put aside their differences to catch the killer.

Is this the work of a singular serial killer or a systematic ritual from organized crime? These two plot threads unravel into a logical climax. Like any good mystery, multiple clues and red herrings are placed within the storyline. The two detectives propel the narrative, but part of the fun of this film is the quirky characters that detour the investigation.

The world of Marshland feels like the south of the border version of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Writer/Director Alberto Rodriquez makes this his personal film noir, filled with gothic detail. One can see the nightmarish visualization of Spanish Master Francisco Goya in Marshland’s visualization.

This film is definitely a vacation from the dog days of the August box office releases. This simple film will create haunted memories.

Javier Gutiérrez, one of the actors who played one of the detectives, is expected to visit the Movies at Lake Worth and Cinema Paradiso this weekend.

For more details, contact Cinema Paradiso at 954-525- FILM (3456) and the Movies at Lake Worth 561-968-4545.

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