Thursday, October 8, 2015

La Isla Minima
(Marshland)

Pelikula: Spanish Film Festival
Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1


It was time to get out of my comfort zone and immerse myself into the realm of a film festival. The Spanish film festival which started in 2002 is my favorite among the numerous film festivals which make their run, annually. 

Of course, the Filipinos have a special affinity with Spain (even though they conquered us for 400 years lol) as our language is still peppered with several Spanish words. So watching a Spanish film is a bit easier as we recognize some common words we normally use in our daily conversations. Naturally, English subtitles do help a lot to get a better understanding of the dialogue which make or break a film.

"La Isla Minima" is a gripping crime story where two detectives with opposing personalities are assigned to investigate the case of missing teenagers in a southern Spanish town. Set in 1980 in post Franco era, the rustic atmosphere provides a subtle backdrop to the disturbingly eerie abductions which has plagued the little town for decades.  As the two detectives delved further into their investigation, more haunting and harrowing details unfold about the persons involved and their twisted motives for such heinous crimes.

The cinematography was dynamic from the wide angle and high above shots to the sepia like tone which permeated throughout the film. The wardrobe was befitting the 80s era from the clothes worn to the way they parted their hair. From the beginning until the mid part of the movie, the plot moved slowly as it tries to establish its pace but the last few minutes, the tension rose and finished with a dramatic conclusion. 

"La Isla Minima" at times felt like a dragged out episode from any of the CSI TV show franchise albeit sans the glossy Hollywood touch. In this particular case, it is a good thing as there is certainly no need to glamorize everything and by retaining its gritty tone, a more effective story telling approach ensued.

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