The director Paco Cabezas assures that the series ‘The Gypsy Bride’ is “the best” he has done so far
There are many imminent and forthcoming series that are being presented within the framework of the San Sebastian Film Festival. Serialized fiction, according to the present, has earned a place in the renowned event, where the launch of the big bets for chapters of the season has been made official. ‘The Gypsy Bride’ will be released on September 25, just one day after the contest ends, directly on the menu of Atresplayer Premium (whose streaming offer, its own and unpublished, is leaving the competition behind in terms of television linear). Days before, the specialized press responded to the privilege of being able to see on the big screen the beginning of one of the most anticipated proposals with a national label of the year.
The project has several data in its favor. It is based on a best-seller, the work of the phenomenon Carmen Mola -actually a trio of men-, and has been directed by one of our most international filmmakers, Paco Cabezas, whose name appears in countless hit productions, including ‘The Umbrella Academy’, ‘Lethal Class’, ‘Penny Dreadful’ or ‘The Alienist’. His last film to date, ‘Adiós’, starring Mario Casas, shot at home, sets the tone for this initiative that takes advantage of the undoubted acting talent of a choral cast of bluebells.
‘The Gypsy Bride’, where the portrait of the city of Madrid is one more character, begins forcefully, with a well-crafted thriller atmosphere. The corpse of a woman appears in the rain dressed in a wedding dress. She has had her head trepanned and worms have been inserted into her cotter pin, among other niceties typical of a psychopath. The police go to the scene of the crime with extreme caution. The scenario is bleak, especially when something similar happened a few years ago. The supposed author of that barbarism has been behind bars for some time, with which someone is copying him by heart, an imitator is on the loose, or an innocent man has been locked up behind bars. Good first steps, in crescendo, for a dark and gruesome story that takes advantage of the codes of the genre to place the viewer in a safe place from the first second.
The Sevillian Cabezas knows how to narrate and finds good accomplices in his deed behind the camera, with a photograph that vacillates between grays, between the horror of blood and the melancholy of daylight that hides many secrets. The clairvoyant casting is led by Nerea Barros, Goya for ‘The Minimum Island’, in the skin of Elena Blanco, an inspector obsessed with her work whose emotional life leaves a lot to be desired, self-destructive and intense due to a traumatic event from the past . Focused on finding answers to the murder of the bloodied bride, she comes across other pieces on the board that move between mystery and mistrust, between good and evil. Accompanying the actress, perhaps too harsh in her role, is a wonderful Vicente Romero -this titan is never bad-, the always brutal Mona Martínez -pure charisma-, the immense Darío Grandinetti -he gives a very bad vibe- and a large etcetera: Ignacio Montes, Lucía Martín Abello, Francesc Garrido, Ginés García Millán, Mónica Estarreado, Moreno Borja… The dialogues they defend go hand in hand.
The beginnings of heads
Cabezas, a guy with a trade, tanned in the cinematographic art working in a video store, like a certain Tarantino, debuted on the big screen with an estimable horror film, ‘Aparecidos’, while he signed scripts for titles like ‘Sexykiller, you will die for her’ or ‘Spanish Movie’. The long-form adaptation of his award-winning short film ‘Carne de neon’ was his next step before making the leap to Hollywood, where he shot ‘Tokarev’, with Nicolas Cage, and ‘Mr. Right’, with Samuel Rockwell. He currently moves between Spain and Los Angeles with a long career as director of essential genre series. Among them we can add titles like ‘The Strain’, ‘Into the Badlands’ or the great ‘Dirk Gently’ (how is it possible that he only has two seasons?).
With his dedication to ‘La novia gitana’, he makes clear his intention to continue raising projects in his land, alternating personal initiatives with weighty commissions, a wise decision taking into account the current rules of the audiovisual medium. He has beaten copper alone in the face of danger as a director, signing a whopping eight chapters, around 50 minutes each. ‘The gypsy bride’ is part of the book by Carmen Mola, a pseudonym under which they hid, until winning the Planeta award in 2021 with ‘La Bestia’, Jorge Díaz, Agustín Martínez and Antonio Mercero, the latter also a screenwriter in the credits of the Serie. Atresplayer’s bet has been renewed for a second season that will be inspired by the continuation of the trilogy, the novel ‘The purple network’, where Inspector Blanco continues with her tribulations, facing her own and other ghosts.
‘The Gypsy Bride’ joins the avalanche of attractive thrillers shot on our borders that take over platforms and movie theaters, either as a movie or series -last weekend ‘Santo’ premiered on Netflix, with Raúl Arévalo- . With hits such as ‘La isla minima’, by Alberto Rodríguez, or ‘Que Dios nos pardone’, by Rodrigo Sorogoyen -who premiered the film ‘As bestas’ in San Sebastián-, as a mirror in which to reflect, we can confirm the excellent health of an unstoppable current that attracts the general public. A liberating trend that in turn is seen in international genre cinema, with a traditional touch and a special predilection for Korean audiovisual – ‘Memoirs of a murderer’ on a pedestal – and British television (essential ‘Line of Duty’ or ‘Luther, among other receipt series). A door wide open for the good of our industry.