A comic about the Barcelona of the astonishment, that of 1921, with the towers of the Sagrada Familia rising towards the sky and Gaudí still alive, with a burning society and a corrupt and violent power. The city of the labor demands in strike form and the one of the anarchist attacks, the one of the hungry working districts and the bourgeoisie of the cava and the luxury brothel, the Barcelona of the prodigies and the Savolta case, that masterfully portrayed Eduardo Mendoza in novels, the progress of a few and the crushing of many others, the infiltrates and beatings, the closed fist of all grouped in the final fight, and the fist closed to the jaw of the opponents.
THE SHADOW OF THE LAW
Address: Dani de la Torre
Interpreters: Luis Tosar, Michelle Jenner, Vicente Romero, Ernesto Alterio.
Gender: thriller Spain, 2018.
Duration: 126 minutes
It sounds good, but also a missed opportunity. Or won, some will say: the apostles of pure commerciality. The shadow of the law it is a story in the style penny dreadful, with all that this entails: superficiality in the narrative, in the composition, in the portrait, in the analysis. A luxury production. A popular movie, in the manner of certain graphic novels, of certain television series. It has been written by Patxi Amezcua and directed by Dani de la Torre, revelation of the thriller of entertainment with social welfare The unknown (2015).
De la Torre seeks an expression that may want to be artistic but is only technical, with a staging of spectacular appearance that hides a rehash of obvious references and nothing original. A set that overwhelms, but where there is little to scratch. At times virtuous, although (almost) never transcendent, despite the time it describes, with notes of the Annual Disaster, the wars that enrich the powerful, the coups provoked, the privileged information. Even with possible parallels with contemporary Catalonia. However, everything is somewhat dwarfed by the lack of solidity. Sewers of power appear, but the characters do not pass the scheme. There is no reflection (nor does it pretend, what is an option as valid as any other), only historical and social notes that offer a framework for the show. Even with sequences of fights closer to the martial arts than the rough turbamult of a lifetime.
A great story, but cartoon at last, not history. And there is also the cinephile entertainment of discovering traced shots of other films: the office of The Godfather, the row in gang The Untouchables, the holdup of Heat, the zenith of hats Road to Perdition… For honoring, copying, tracing, remembering, even mythical traveling by the tables of the restaurant Alas, composed by William Wellman in 1927! So yes, in an unusual way and with an artistic expressiveness.