Fans of the recent trend of excellent crime based TV Dramas will be left fulfilled with Marshland. A story about two detectives on the hunt for a killer in 1980’s rural Spain, while also trying to reconcile their personal and professional differences.
Aesthetically, it’s a beautifully shot film. Sparse and desolate, yet the humidity and ongoing investigation result in a type of claustrophobia for both the detectives and the locals who live in the villages. The feeling of openness is a false sense of freedom, imprisoned due to socio-economic restrictions and the unforgiving location.
The story is similar to that of Memories of Murder, Zodiac or a condensed True Detective season, as red herrings are subtly introduced, people aren’t what they always seem, and the case gets messier the more they delve into it. The mystery always remains a mystery though, right until the satisfying finale. It is unnerving, yet captivating storytelling, bolstered by the outstanding performances of the two leads (Javier Gutierrez, Raul Arevalo).
Highly regarded as the best film to come out of Spain in 2014, winner of numerous awards and loved by many well-respected critics, Marshland has surprisingly slipped under many people’s radars. Rather than include it in a patronising list about films “you’ve probably never heard of”, I just urge you to seek it out if you haven’t already. If crime drama is your thing, then this is a must-see film.