‘La Fortuna’: Criticism of San Sebastian (TV) | Comments
Director: Alejandro Amenabar. Spain. 2021. 300 min (6 x 50 min)
The Adventure / Drama Limited Series La Fortuna is a marked change of tone for Alejandro Amenabar after his grim take on Spain’s recent past in Goya’s winning multi-feature During the war (2015). However, the director of Others and The sea inside can’t help but delve into the country’s history in its first TV production, this time featuring a sunk galleon and modern day fortune hunter played by Stanley Tucci who puts Spain and the United States on a trajectory of collision.
The series known to itself recognizes how difficult it is to fuel a 300-minute drama with a quest for Spanish officials to retrieve a cargo manifesto
Although this Movistar / AMC co-production moves a lot between the two countries, it ultimately feels more Spanish than American in the chatty way it deals with modern politics in Madrid’s Moncloa. A modest treasure, unlike the cargo carried by its titular galleon, La Fortuna should shine at home, but there’s a smoothness to the pace, which means it’ll have to lean heavily on the Amenabar and Tucci names to grab attention in more distant markets. Like the ancient coins at the heart of the quarrel between so many interested parties, certain parts of La Fortuna could do with a polish, while others have a more recognizable luster.
The self-knowing series acknowledges how difficult it is to fuel a 300-minute drama with a quest for Spanish officials to retrieve a cargo manifesto, and Amenabar further complicates matters by making its young hero Alex Ventura. (Alvaro Mel) a shy novice in the offices of the Ministry of Culture in Madrid. Visually, it’s not as exciting as modern-day hacker Frank Wild (Stanley Tucci) illicitly combing the Spanish seabed for sunken duplicates, but Amenabar does its best.
When Wild stumbles upon the wreckage of La Fortuna, he hastens to bring his loot home to his home in Atlanta, the home of his group Atlantis, made up of his formidable consigliere Susan McLean (T’nia Miller). The underfunded, underfunded and undercommitted Spanish government is left to wade in its wake, perhaps even compromised in its success. Certainly, blind eyes have been turned to his explorations. As Spain wakes up to its most modern theft, $ 500 million worth of bullion is locked in a secret facility in Georga (thanks to the help of the vile Brits of Gibraltar) and the wily Wild lurks behind a raft. expensive avocados.
Spain’s moldy civil service, however, has a secret weapon in fiery heritage keeper Lucia (Ana Polvorosa), who smokes and curses her way through the halls of power demanding that Frank Wlld be arrested. Alex, a recent graduate from diplomatic school, volunteers to help. Lucia and Alex are an unlikely couple – she’s 15 years older than her 25-year-old protégé, outspoken, lesbian and committed left-handed, yet he’s the conservative altar boy, as she laughs at him. Together, however, they hire old American lawyer Jonas Pierce (Clarke Peters), himself with a history involving a long-standing feud with Wild. Together they attempt to take on the Americans with the help of a provocative Secretary of Culture who is himself very risky.
Bitter asides on the state of Spanish politics are nice to those in the know, but do not help move action forward. For this, Amenabar also travels through time to recreate the sinking of the Fortuna, one of a flotilla of four ships sent back to Spain from the American colonies with great wealth to finance a threatened war. The Amenabar series is not based on a true story, although the timeline of La Fortuna looks pretty realistic. There was a similar incident in Colombia during the Wars of the Spanish Succession, when the British Navy sank the San Jose. Discovered in 2015, it sparked international controversy over the fate of the treasure.
And, of course, there are fortune hunters everywhere, as the fate of the Titanic illustrates.
But it’s not the truth that will see Amenabar’s TV series sink or swim. It’s the glamor of the place, the force of action at every level and the conflict of those forces with the timid pace that viewers will often need to hold onto the rail to endure. It seems that this series could have been completed in three or four episodes instead of the ordered six, and the last two alternately drag and speed up again with diminishing results. The show, which is essentially an adventure / drama, can’t seem to make up its mind who the villain is – Tucci, which is a lot of fun, or Deep State, which isn’t that entertaining. Viewers, however, are in good hands in a pretty pretty ensemble filmed by Spanish DoP hotshot Carlos Catalon and keenly scarred by Roque Banos. It remains to be seen whether they will complete the journey.
Production companies: Movistar, AMC Networks, MOD Producciones
International sales: Beta Film (Spain), [email protected]
Producers: Domingo Corral, Fernando Bovaira
Screenplay: Alejandro Hernandez, Alejandro Amenabar, inspired by the graphic novel ‘El Tesoro del Cisne Negro’ by Paco Roca and Guillermo Corral
Photography: Alex Catalan
Editing: Carolina Martinez Urbina
Music: Roque Banos
Main actors: Alvaro Mel, Ana Polvorosa, Stanley Tucci, Clarke Peters, T’Nia Miller, Karra Elejalde, Manolo Solo