‘Rapa’, a thriller that reverses the rules of the ‘whodunit’ with a mystery as effective as it is forgettable

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The new project from the creators of Iron. The return to television Javier Camara after saying goodbye to a character who is already part of the books of our television history, Juan Carrasco. A thriller set in the same Galician area where Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s new film takes place. rape It was not easy for him to live up to expectations. The first season, already available, of the new Movistar Plus+ bet is a solid but unsurprising exercise in intrigue in which the unknowns are not where one might expect with the naked eye.

It would be interesting to know what Agatha Christie, the queen of whodunit (a variant of the police novel focused on the resolution of a crime and, particularly, the search for its culprit), of a series that dares to destroy the expectations of a savvy audience that in recent years has been invaded by thrillers of all kinds of denomination of origin. British, Nordic, Spanish and Americans have wanted to express a formula as simple as it is effective: a couple of atypical detectives try to find the culprit of a mysterious death that has left a community disoriented.

Step in The Killing, broadchurch, Under suspicion either Mare of Easttown, the last great global phenomenon of a genre that has not yet shown signs of exhaustion at a commercial level, but creative. If the thriller with Kate Winslet became one of the best series of the past year, it was for its exploration of the mourning of a mother who had lost her son and for the portrayal of the suffering of several generations of women, and not so much for the resolution of a central murder as addictive as it is unoriginal.

The creators of rape seem to be aware of that saturation and at the end of the first episode they decide to change the rules of the game and reveal the identity of the culprit of the central mystery, or what in other circumstances we would have thought was what the series was really interested in. The brothers Jorge and Pepe Coira had already misled the audience in the first season of Iron revealing the identity of the murderer ahead of time and here they challenge the viewers again by changing the questions.

The Movistar Plus + series is not interested in who, but the reason for the crime and the effect it has on the person who has committed it and on the two characters who must discover their identity. They are Maite, a civil guard sergeant who is in charge of the investigation of the murder of Amparo Seoane, the mayor of a Galician town near Ferrol, and Tomás, a frustrated teacher who finds a new reason to live when he becomes a the witness to the death of the most powerful woman in town.

Without going into the directions of the stupendous Death in Leon (a true crime that reveals what happened in the assassination of another powerful mayor, Isabel Carrasco), rape moves in the fascinating and often muddy world of regional councilsa breeding ground for a juicy drama that does not end up appearing in a series more focused on the motivations of its protagonists than on exploiting the idiosyncrasies of its social, cultural and economic context.

Uniting the paths of two antagonistic forces doomed to understand each other is commonplace in the genre, but rape succeeds in introducing an unexpected and atypical element in the equation. Tomás, played by an always stimulating Javier Cámara who makes his debut in the thriller and flees from the comedy that has always characterized his performances, is a civilian trapped in a situation and a case that is not only far above him, but also directly it belongs to.

Javier Cámara and Mónica López are the stars of 'Rapa'.

Javier Cámara and Mónica López are the stars of ‘Rapa’.

At his side shines a remarkable Monica Lopez who faces his first leading role in audiovisual. The choice of an actor from La Rioja and a Canarian actress based in Barcelona to lead the cast of a story that, moreover, is proud of its Galician setting is surprising despite the charisma of Cámara, the naturalness of López and the chemistry of two old collaborators of Cesc Gay who had never worked together.

After creating a character as memorable as that of Judge Candela in Iron, It is a pity that her spiritual continuation does not leave Maite the same space for growth and brilliance.. The sergeant has her first big professional opportunity ahead of her, but at the same time, she is defined by her relationship with the men around her: the husband with whom she is inadvertently unhappy, the hostile stranger who upsets her personally and professionally, and the superior who makes sure he does his job right. After six episodes it is difficult to know what else the character played by Jorge Bosch contributes there.

There is (virtually) nothing wrong with rape. Its biggest problem, however, is that there’s also nothing particularly exciting beyond the change in the structure of its mystery and its impeccable cast. Fans of the genre will find as many reasons to devour its six episodes in a few days as to forget it in the following weeks.. This with Mare did not happen. With Candela, the truth, neither.

The first season of ‘Rapa’ can now be seen on Movistar Plus+.

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