Pros: Cute characters; beautiful romantic story; elements of fantasy and detective Cons: Timing and general slowness; predictability Mirage / “Mirage”
Genre fantasy, thriller, romance
Directed by Oriol Paolo
Cast: Adriana Ugarte (Vera Roy), Chino Darin (Inspector Leira), Javier Gutierrez (Angel Prieto), Alvaro Morte (David Ortiz), Nora Navas (Clara Medina), Miquel Fernandez (Aitor Medina), Mima Riera (Maria Lazarte) , Julio Bohigas (Nico Lazarte), etc.
Atresmedia Cine Studios, Netflix
Year of release 2018
I’ll be honest, ever since Jack Finney’s Between Two Times, which I read at a fairly young age, I have been warm to romantic stories involving time travel and time loops. A beautiful girl, a time paradox, an imminent danger threatening the heroine and the whole world. Actually, this theme has been exploited extensively in cinema for a long time; just remember such films as Kate & Leo, The Time Traveler’s Wife, About Time or dozens of Doctor Who episodes from different seasons. By and large, even the classic Groundhog Day is built according to the same scheme, only the time loop in it is shorter.
The story of Mirage follows a pattern well known to fans of thrillers and science fiction. Vera, a happy wife and mother, moves with her husband and little daughter to a new house. While unpacking her things, the woman finds in the closet an old TV and a video camera with a cassette that helps her connect with 1989. More specifically, with November 9, 1989, the day the Berlin Wall fell, on which a boy from another time recorded that same cassette. While trying to save the child on the other side of the screen, Vera creates a time paradox that destroys her life. Now, having found herself in a completely unfamiliar world, inhabited by people who do not know her, Vera must restore the normal course of events in 72 hours and return her family. Or shouldn’t it?
Mirage has a lot in common with the Dark series. Here, some of the events important to the plot take place in 1989 (in Dark – in 1986), the German and Spanish outbacks of that time look almost indistinguishable. Both here and there there is a time loop and a secret that unites several families living in the same town. However, in Mirage the detective story is much simpler and is calculated in just a few frames. But the romantic one is more complicated, although there are no special surprises here either.
At a certain point, the authors of Mirage try to convince the viewer of the unreality of the events shown earlier, but they do not do this very persistently; the blurring of existence in the style of Philip K. Dick does not appear here, although such a layer would have given the film additional depth. However, the director, who is also the screenwriter of the film, Oriol Paolo, it seems, did not set himself such a task; it turned out to be much more important for him to show the unusual love triangle and the dilemma facing the main character.
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Spanish actors are not well known to domestic audiences, but, say, you could see the same Chino Darin, playing the role of Inspector Leira, in the film “Angel”. The lead actress, Adriana Ugarte, has been active on Spanish television, earning prestigious national awards for her roles in the TV series La Señora and El tiempo entre costuras, which take place in the 1920s and 1930s, respectively.
Mirage is truly a very touching film, and it is worth watching only in the company of a loved one, so that in especially tearful moments there is a shoulder to cry on. However, you probably know that such pictures always end well. Evil will be punished, the mother will find her child, and the lovers will be reunited.
Actually, this predictability, the general simplicity of the fantastic and detective component, the leisurely pace and the clearly bloated running time (the film runs 2 hours 8 minutes) are the main problems of Mirage. On the other hand, slowness and regularity strangely suit this picture.
Mirage is a beautiful romantic story with detective and fantasy elements. With nice actors, partly in the surroundings of the 80s of the last century. If you’re not in a hurry, spend one evening watching this movie, it’s worth it.
A very touching romantic story about time travel