More people need to watch this Spanish time travel gem on Netflix
by Netflix the ratio of good to bad movies might not be the best, but there’s one thing it can still claim over its rivals: an incredibly rich vein of international titles.
The platform, DarkLupine, squid game, The call – these sleek, unique, and compelling offerings rolled on the Netflix treadmill and we let them loose, breaking the 1-inch subtitle barrier in our wake.
And now it’s time to whet your appetite for more! The next movie you should give a chance is 2018’s Mirage.
The Spanish sci-fi drama comes from Oriol Paulo, a director and screenwriter who has made a habit of creating clever thrillers. (His latest, God’s Crooked Lines, just landed on Netflix.) Mirage is one of his best, relying on a satisfyingly unpredictable time travel puzzle.
Adriana Ugarte stars as Vera Roy, a mother who stumbles upon a device that allows her to speak in the past tense. Opportunity only lasts during a massive electrical storm, so of course there are some references to Back to the Future.
Vera chooses to use this miraculous discovery for good, but unknowingly changes her own timeline while doing so. Suddenly his incredibly cute daughter no longer exists. To correct this travesty, Vera embarks on a clue-finding mission, tracking down exactly how her life has been altered, finding allies who will believe her strange situation, and find a way to return to her old life, without committing acts. immoral.
This kind of predicament in time travel is somewhat familiar, so it feels like you can guess every path Mirage begins to take you. Luckily, Mirage is a lot smarter than the average Netflix thriller and also has a huge edge in Ugarte’s moving performance. It’s a bit reminiscent of Margaret Qualley in Maid: you really feel the love and the desperation in her distress to save her child.
Revenge and romance round out Mirage’s artillery. Then, in its final act, it incorporates an element of time pressure, a countdown that threatens to trap Vera in a point of no return. This all sets up several rewarding twists.
Always focused on human drama, Mirage never goes into full-fledged sci-fi mode, but it cleverly conjures up an eerie atmosphere with a dark, creepy, tension-wrapping opening, akin to Stranger Things. It helps that it’s partially set in the 80s. People communicate in impossible ways through unexpected devices, news reports drop unsubtle clues to mysterious happenings, and a nerdy kid sings a period song from a happy and sad way.
Mirage also stars Álvaro Morte, best known worldwide for playing The Professor in Money Heist. Here, he plays Vera’s husband, David. He is handsome and charming and is definitely hiding something.
Mirage takes the most effective approach to what might be an overly complicated concept of time travel, harnessing strong performances and reaching an emotionally satisfying conclusion. It’s the kind of neat wrap that envelops you in its world for 128 minutes (yes, that could be a little shorter) and then casts you off with a full, contented glow.
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