Vis a vis Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Macarena Ferreiro (Maggie Sivantos) is your typical not-too-smart blonde. She fell in love with the head of the company she worked for, became his mistress, and after that it was not difficult for the boss to persuade Macarena to hang the company on himself, from which the boss carefully stole several million, after which he carefully removed himself, and blamed Macarena for everything.

Macarena faces seven years, she has no money for bail, so the girl was sent to Cruz del Sur prison while awaiting trial. There are four women in her cell: Sole (Maria Isabel Diaz), who killed her husband, who beat her for sixteen years, the pimp and drug dealer Anabel (Inma Cuevas) and the beauty Yolanda (Belen Cuesta), who will soon go free.

On the very first night in prison, Macarena sees that Yolanda, with whom Macarena has already made friends, is invited by another prisoner, Sulema Sair (Niva Nimri), to go for a smoke. Some time after that, the guards find Yolanda murdered in the laundry.

As Macarena was told, Yolanda and her boyfriend managed to steal nine million euros from collectors, which she managed to hide somewhere during the period when they were running away from the police. Yolanda also managed to replace the SIM card in her phone: she swallowed the SIM card on which the coordinates of the hidden money were recorded. Sublema knew that Yolanda was leaving soon, and tried to find out from her where the money was. But Yolanda didn’t say anything.

Macarena is put to work in greenhouses in Yolanda’s place, and she discovers a secret with a SIM card in a pot of flowers. Macarena knows that if she has a million euros to post bail, she can get out of prison. And she wants to try and find that money: with the help of her father, Leopoldo (Carlos Hipólito), a former police officer.

But, of course, all this will be very difficult to do: information in the prison spreads quickly, and Sulema herself hunts for this money – with their help she plans to organize her escape. And Sulema is a terrible person, even the prison guards are afraid of her.

***

A popular Spanish series, the first season of which I watched with great pleasure. It was not licensed in United States, but it can be found in the root tracker with United Statesn subtitles from the World of Spanish Series group, and on various other sites from the “watch online” series there are four seasons with a two-voiced United Statesn voiceover, on the NNM website you can download it with a United Statesn voiceover, at the “Kinozale” there are several distributions with different translations.

The plot of the series is made very exciting: the main events take place in prison, but there are enough sharp and interesting plot twists, and in addition, a significant part of the first season is occupied by what happens outside the prison, where Macarena’s father and brother, and later also her mother The Encarna try to get money to post bail, but they are confronted by the creepy Egyptian, Sublema’s lover, who will stop at nothing.

But most of all, the series is good for its colorful characters. The lead role, Macarena Ferreiro, was played by Maggie Sivantos, and she bears a strong resemblance to American actress Julie Bowen, the star of Modern Family and Boston Lawyers (she also starred in Lost and ER).


Maggie Sivantos and Julie Bowen

She played well: a kind of typical blonde from a loving family, brought up in greenhouse conditions, who was betrayed and set up by her lover and who now has to survive in the cruel conditions of a women’s prison, where the main threat does not come from the guards at all, but from the prisoners and the local doctor Sandoval – sexually a horny bastard who loves to harass his patients, and there is little they can do about it, because they are completely at his mercy.

Maggie Sivantos did a good job of showing the transformations Macarena had to go through, how she fought for her dignity and her freedom, and how she got to such a level of coolness that she managed to start resisting Subulema herself!

Sublimate Sair in this series is something absolutely incredible! She was played by actress, singer and model Naiva Nimri, whom fans of the series “Paper House” know very well from the third season, where Naiva played a really frightening female inspector Alicia Sierra: she was even called by her colleagues “the main bitch among all bitches.”

Here Sulema is even cooler! In addition to absolutely amazing charisma and readiness for serious personal sacrifices, Sulema has a young lover outside the prison walls – an Arab terrorist (according to the plot, Sulema is of Arab origin, and Naiva Nimri herself also has Arab blood: her father is Jordanian). This Egyptian will do whatever Sublema orders, and here even the prison guards and guards cannot be safe, because Sublema will send an avenger to any (or any) of them, and they all know it. An absolutely amazing role, and Sublem is a completely different type than Alicia Sierra!

Sulema’s cellmate and associate is Saray Vargas, a gypsy woman played by Alba Flores – Nairobi from Paper House. Here she does not have such a bright role as in “Paper House” (well, actually, “Paper House” came out two years later), but Alba was still very nice to see. By the way, her real name is Alba Gonzalez Villa and she is the granddaughter of the legendary Spanish singer, flamenco dancer and actress Lola Flores.

Of the male roles, four characters stand out first of all. The first is, of course, the vile Dr. Sandoval, he was perfectly portrayed by Ramiro Blas. Velvet baritone, convincing manner of communication, ostentatious friendliness, but at the same time the doctor has his own small weaknesses. A small thank you blowjob, a display of love and friendship – that’s what he expects from prison patients. Sandoval is still a bastard, of course, but at the same time he does not want to use his position one hundred percent by forcing prisoners to have sex. They also have to pretend that they want him and will have sex with him voluntarily, otherwise he is not interested. Very well played, the character, of course, is extremely vile, but has a bright negative charisma.

The second most interesting character is the guard Fabio Martinez, played by Roberto Enriquez. A former police inspector who went to work in prison so that his wife would be calmer, he is much cooler than any local security guard, which was immediately felt by the local handsome security guard Valbuena. Fabio immediately becomes a very important figure in the prison, he is greatly appreciated by the head of the prison Miranda Ahirre (also a cool character played by Cristina Plazas), well, Fabio clearly shows interest in Macarena, and their relationship goes through serious crises.

By the way, Fabio became very friendly with the security guard Palacios (Alberto Velazquez) – a somewhat ridiculous plump man, whom everyone laughs at, but Palacios is also a curious and characteristic character.

The third bright male character is Macarena’s father Leopoldo, played by Carlos Hipólito. A man of short stature, who retired from the police due to his age, is a core, but at the same time, Leopoldo does not look like an extinct pensioner. He was clearly a tough cop, he puts himself in all this trouble for his daughter and he will stop at nothing! An excellent role, a powerful character, and here is the very case when the power and coolness of the character are shown solely due to the charisma of the actor.

Well, the fourth of the main male characters is the brilliant Inspector Castillo: he was played by Jesus Castejon. Castillo throughout the season investigates various circumstances of what happened in prison, he hunts for the Egyptian, he is well acquainted with Leopoldo and respects him, he is familiar with Fabio Martinez and also treats him with respect. At the same time, Castillo is slowly getting to the bottom of what happened, and he, as a police inspector, cannot slow it all down.

The first season is just brilliant, I watched and could not tear myself away, very exciting. Moreover, the series is also well promoted in the process, culminating in the season finale, where the main storylines of the entire season were closed, but they made a serious start for the second season: the series had a good rating and continuations were originally planned.

The second season was made by the same team: it looks good, although it is somewhat inferior to the first season in terms of intensity and level. By the third season, the creators of the series, Antena 3, sold the rights to it to FOX España, so starting from the third season, a completely different team worked on it (in one of these seasons, actress Maggie Sivantos, “Macarena”, went to star in the series “The Telephone Operators” and her character, without thinking twice, were simply sent into a coma for the entire season), and these seasons, as they say, are much weaker.

After that, the series was given a new name – “Vis-Avis: Oasis”, symbolizing a new direction and a reboot, the first season came out this year, and there seemed to be a sequel planned. But, in general, people who have watched all the seasons say that the first season is a must-watch, the second is quite possible, and then you can stop with this series: it belongs to a large group of so-called “degraded series” that from season to the season is getting weaker and weaker.

 

Vis-a-vis movie meaning

Director: Ivan Escobar, Esther Martinez Lobato, Alex Pina Cast: Maggie Sivantos, Roberto Enriquez, Cristina Plazas, Daniel Ortiz, Harlis Becerra, Carlos Hipólito, Maria Salgueiro, Adrian Mehdi, Alba Flores, Maria Isabel Diaz, Marta Aledo, Naiva Nimri , Berta Vasquez, Jesus Castejon, Laura Baena, Ramiro Blas, Alberto Velasco, Inma Cuevas, Belen Cuesta

Series, Spain, 2015, 83 min. 5 seasons, 11 episodes in the first season

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