who has seen ‘The Secret of Marrowbone’the first film of Sergio G. Sanchezknows that the screenwriter of films by J. Bayona such as ‘The orphanage’ and ‘The impossible’ he likes to play clueless with the public, relying on elements of character supernatural. It is a formula that he resorts to again in ‘Soul’, his first series, a ‘thriller’ set in his native Asturias that arrives this Friday, August 19 on Netflix and that the platform has had a year and a half stored in the drawer.
Produced by Belen Atienza (‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’), Sandra Hermida (‘Madrid is burning’) and Jesus de la Vega (‘Intruders’, ‘Iron’), fiction starts from the bus accident of a group of high school students to give way to a story of mystery and fantasy. “I am obsessed with everything bordering on death”, G. Sánchez has admitted on occasion, who also works here as a director together with Kike Maillo (‘EVE’).
“It’s a ‘thriller‘ supernatural but it also has an emotional charge that draws all kinds of audiences, because it talks about universal themes such as death, life, friendship, illness, mourning…”, he lists Mireia Oriol, the young Catalan actress (‘Les de l’hoquei’) who carries the weight of the plot. She plays the Alma of the title, one of the students who survived the tragedy, but with her own aftermath: waking up in the hospital she discovers that she suffers from amnesia.
Little by little, she will be able to connect the dots about her past and about what really happened that fateful day thanks to the help of her parents and other survivors, at that time complete strangers to her. Although some strange visions of her will not make things easy for her at first, nor was it easy for the actress to face a character who is as lost as hers. “The first week of shooting she was under attack because she wanted to control everything” recalls the interpreter, who highlights “the imaginary” that Sergio G. Sánchez has endowed ‘Alma’ with, a very author series.
That means that, although it starts from common elements with other Spanish Netflix titles such as ‘Fair’ (because of the mystery and supernatural touches), the series has its own identity. “Sergio has built his universe and there is no other like it”, he highlights Alex Villazan (‘Caronte’, ‘Skam’), who plays Tom, with whom Alma and her friend Deva (claudia rosette‘Skam’) make up a particular love triangle.
Apart from them, in the plot of ‘Alma’ the characters played by a good handful of young actors become relevant, such as Pol Monen (‘Who would you take to a desert island?’), Javier Morgade (‘The knot’), Nil Cardone (‘Les de l’hockey’), Mary Knight (‘The Ministry of Time’) and Milena Smith (‘You will not kill’, ‘Parallel mothers’). Also appearing, in more supporting roles, are veteran actors such as Elena Irureta, Marta Belaustegui and Josean Bengoetxea.
Another of the great protagonists of history is Asturias, which was the main setting for the shooting and whose forests and mountains give ‘Alma’ a touch of mystery. “Asturias did a lot of the work,” says Roset, something Oriol agrees with: “It’s not just that the landscapes are beautiful, almost like a painting, but they create an entire atmosphere, because we always went to very special places” , reiterates.