Mateo Vidal, whom everyone calls Mat (Mario Casas), studies law at the university. One beautiful (or rather, unfortunate) day, Mata’s older brother Isma (Jordi Kol) called Mata to have fun in a nightclub. There, Mat met some girl and started dancing with her, and the guy who considered her his girlfriend did not like it very much. As a result, two groups of guys – Mat with Isma and friends against a quick-tempered guy with friends – went out into the street to figure it out, a fight began. Mat hit some guy, he fell, hit his head on a stone and died on the spot. At the trial, Mata was soldered for four years – the maximum for manslaughter.
Four years later, Mat left, and, oddly enough, his life began to slowly improve. The brother, who has recently promoted his law office very well, takes Mata as his deputy. Mat meets a girl named Olivia Costa (Aura Garrido). They get married, and two years later the doctor informs the couple that Olivia is pregnant.
When they were looking for a new home in the suburbs, Olivia received a strange call on her smartphone. She told Mat that she would have to go to Berlin for a few days because she was needed there by a local consulting firm.
Olivia left, after which very strange photos of some obviously menacing man began to come to Mat’s smartphone from Olivia’s number, and then Mat, to his horror, received a video showing Olivia sleeping on the bed in the room in her underwear. Also, a certain man called from her phone, who told Mat that his wife was not at all who she claims to be.
After that, a whole whirlwind of a wide variety of events began, in which many people participated. Various secrets of the past have been revealed there, and these secrets could seriously threaten Mat, Olivia, and some other people.
Oriol Paolo is a director who has made several good action films: “The Body”, “The Invisible Guest” and “During a Thunderstorm”. And now – a series in which several actors and actresses play, whom Paolo has already shot in his films. For example, Mario Casas (Mat) and Ana Wahener (mother of the guy killed by Mat) played the main roles in The Invisible Guest. Aura Garido (Olivia) played with Paolo in The Body, Jose Coronado (one of the main villains of the series) played with this director in both The Body and The Invisible Guest.
What does it have to do with it, you immediately ask, some kind of Harlan Coben and why is he innocent? The original title of the film is El inocente, meaning “the innocent”. There is no Harlan Coben in the film, Harlan Coben is a very famous American writer, included in the list of 10 best detective writers in America according to the New York Times. It was he who wrote the book The Innocent, on the basis of which Oriol Paolo made his series, adapting the events of the book to various Spanish realities.
Well, to hell with the name of the writer was taken out in the name of the series, you ask and we will ask with the cat Bagel? Yes, in fact, no one can understand what is going on in the heads of these idiots of beautiful people who give the film “Lyons” (Les Lyonnais) the name “The Untouchables”, the film “The Untouchables” (Intouchables) give the name “1 + 1”, and the TV series “Innocent” (El inocente) give the name “Harlan Coben. Innocent”. There are no reasonable explanations for this.
By the way, based on Harlan Coben’s books, several series have been staged – “Five”, “The Stranger”, “Safety”, as well as a downright exciting detective thriller “Don’t Tell Nobody”.
What did the director Oriola Paolo get with this series? (By the way, this is his first full-fledged series – from the point of view that this is his personal project and he himself staged all 8 episodes. In the other three series that appear in his filmography, he was simply one of the directors and worked on some specific episodes.)
Well, in principle, it turned out well – action-packed and exciting, as usual with his films. However, the serial format – as many as eight 50-minute episodes – has led to the fact that there are too many storylines intertwined here and you have to keep in mind information about a rather large number of different characters.
In the center of the story, of course, are Mat and Olivia themselves, and in particular Olivia’s past life, in which there were enough various upheavals, but this is also superimposed on a whole story with a certain institution in Marbella (I will speak very carefully so as not to spoil), with the police investigation led by Inspector Lorena Ortiz (Alexandra Jimenez, whom I used to see in the good film “100 Meters”), with the high-ranking police officer Theo Aguilar (Jose Coronado) playing an important role in the narrative, with the gangster Ibay Saez (Javi Saez) , Olivia’s friend Kimmy (Martina Guzman) and many other people.
And it’s all tied into such a tangle of events from the past and from the present, where many people would like to erase any mention of their past, that this turns out to be a rather intricate detective and crime story with thriller elements.
It looks, in general, quite exciting, although you need to be careful enough to remember where the corresponding plot threads come from and where they lead. However, in the fourth episode, where an institution appeared in Marbella, our interest in the series with the cat Bublik somehow decreased a little and we even thought that we wouldn’t have enough … However, we decided to give the series a chance and did not regret it, because that we watched to the end and in general this series did not disappoint us.
The most interesting acting work here is primarily Olivia, played by Aura Garrido and Theo Aguilar, played by José Coronado. Olivia is a woman with a difficult and tragic fate, and Aura played her very worthy, but she had to demonstrate very different periods of her character’s life. Theo Aguilar is such an antagonist, absolute evil (it explains very quickly who he is and what he needs), and he is a very strong-willed and strong person who is extremely difficult to resist. Jose Coronado turned out to be an excellent role – the character is very charismatic and bright.
Mario Casas himself in the role of Mateo Vidal somehow did not impress, but it is unlikely that the actor himself can be complained about. It’s just that if the rest of the characters there have all sorts of carefully hidden stories and all kinds of skeletons in the closets, then everything is known about Mat and he can only stoically rake up the extremely difficult and confusing situation in which he and Olivia find themselves. He played quite well, but did not impress: in the same “Invisible Guest” his character was much more interesting.
In general, looked at least with interest. There is nothing so downright iconic in this series, it cannot be said that it is obligatory for viewing, but I definitely won’t call it weak and not deserving of attention: it is action-packed, intriguing, quite diverse (series suddenly appear in which they talk about some people who are completely new to this story, who will be somehow connected with the main characters), and I did not regret that I watched it.
The story is completely over, in the final episode all the masks are removed and all the cards are revealed, and I love this more than multi-season series, the vast majority of which degrade noticeably from season to season.
However, I got the impression that the mini-series format is not very suitable for this director. If he had made a full-length film out of this story, removing some completely unnecessary lines and shortening some episodes that looked rather long in the series, it could have turned out to be much more dynamic and action-packed.
PS In United Statesn Netflix, this series is available with different voiceovers (no United Statesn) and United Statesn subtitles, in certain places the series comes across with several United Statesn voiceovers – from Jaskier, TVShows and HDRezka studios.
Harlan Coben. Innocent / El inocente / The Innocent movie review
Directed by: Oriol Paolo Cast: Mario Casas, Aura Garrido, Alexandra Jiménez, Jose Coronado, Juana Acosta, Anna Alarcón, Martina Guzmán, Susi Sanchez, Miki Esparbe, Ana Wagener, Jordi Kol
Series, Spain, 2021, 50 min. Crime thriller, 1 season, 8 episodes.