The opening frames of Alberto Rodríguez’s ‘Marshland’ – ‘La isla mínima’ – are enough to have you instantly glued, and this Spanish film that was released in 2014, is a mesmerising succession of such spectacular shots that will enthral you. These bleak and yet stunningly exquisite portraits that the film employs remarkably gel with the grim theme that the film deals with, and the results are nothing short of a visual masterpiece.
Actors Raúl Arévalo and Javier Gutiérrez play Madrid homicide detectives Pedro Suarez and Juan Robles respectively who arrive at the Guadalquivir Marshes in 1980 to investigate the disappearance of two local teenage girls named Carmen and Estrella. As their investigation progresses, the bodies of the girls are found in the marshland and the autopsy reveals that they had been raped and tortured, before being murdered.
‘Marshland’ is a slow burner, and remarkably maintains its disconcerting tone throughout. What is interesting is also all those questions that it leaves behind, and the resolutions that it arrives at, that are never complete. There are several scenes that I truly loved in this film, but the adrenaline pumping, dusty car chase at night, has to be one of my most favourite picks from the lot. Great Spanish film!