Marshland - La Isla Mínima is the new venture of the Spanish director Alberto Rodriguez.
In the MARSHLAND a serial killer is on the loose. Two homicide detectives who appear to be poles apart must settle their differences and bring the murderer to justice before more young women lose their lives
After watching the movie people usually say that it looks like True Detective although True Detective came after Marshland but there are links between the two of them in terms of composition, framing and narrative which is quite interesting.
However, that is absolutely irrelevant as Marshland as a movie has its own entity and stands out as a neo - noir Spanish movie set in the 80's among the other neo - noir pieces shot in the world.
Marshland's characters are absolutely brilliant, very well written, fantastically directed and with a great cast.
The actors are superb and they perform the script as if it had been part of their lives, which is very unusual for Spanish actors, who are not very good.
Cinematography, by Alex Catalan, is far beyond imagination.
It might read as something very common but the levels of darkness and the way he lights the sets is astonishing (my friend Miguel Cardenas, the gaffer in this movie, was really surprised as to how little lights they used), of course, the set designer, Pepe Dominguez, plays a massive role on Alex Catalan's cinematography but the mood is really accentuated by how Alex decided to play with contrast and muted colours in order to create that sense of solitude, decadence and etc.
There are several times where you see how he uses colors to represent different states of mind, not very often but some times.
Part of a car chase sequence at night on the marshland is even shot with the car lights off which is very brave.
Had I seen this movie in 2014 (when it was released) it would have been in my top 3, together with Cold In July and Gone Girl, such is the power of the story and the images.
I don not know if it will be released out of Spain some day soon (I came to Spain to shoot a couple of things and I had the chance to grab a ticket for the last screening of the movie in cinemas yesterday) but if you have a chance to find it, watch it because it is very enjoyable, the story gets you right there, the characters are really really powerful and real and the cinematography and narrative are among the best ones in the world in 2014.
If it had been an American movie we would be praising it a lot by now.
Have a good day!