Alba (2022) review: Thought provoking story criticising corrupt power structures

Alba is a Spanish drama series inspired by the blockbuster Turkish TV series, Fatmagul. It deals with the various events that take place after Alba- a young girl, is raped by four influential men.

Story

Alba and Bruno come back to their hometown for summer break. They have been dating for the past six months but are yet to meet each other’s friends. Alba is best friends with Bego, and Bruno’s friends consist of Ruben, Jacobo, and Hugo.

One night, when Alba and Bego were partying in a local pub, someone drugs Alba’s drink. Following this, Alba is raped by Ruben, Jacobo, and Hugo. The next morning, Alba wakes up on the beach along with several bruises on her body.

While reporting to the police, Alba could not answer anything because she does not remember anything from the night she was drugged. However, instead of being the victim, she is harassed by the police and society constantly.

The rapists come from influential families and do everything to misplace evidence, corrupt judges, and threaten Alba. Eventually, the court rules in favour of Alba, but again, the influential family presses it to be declared a mistrial.

Performances

The cast is great. Alba, played by Elena Rivera, is amazingly acted out. Having the longest screen time, she has a variety of emotions to portray and does each one of them quite beautifully. The panic attack scenes are subtle and amazingly performed.

Bruno, played by Eric Masip, was yet another diligent performance. It was a very complicated feeling that the character was supposed to feel, and Eric brings out the complex feelings with great expressions.

Jacobo, played by Alvaro Rico, is definitely a great casting. A hypocrite, a rich brat whose intentions are never known to the viewer. However, Ruben, played by Pol Hermoso, is a show stealer. His amazing sociopathic behaviour is very well performed.

Mercedes, performed by Adriana Ozores, was not the best casting. The character demanded pure evil but with slight compassion. Adriana was absolutely expressionless in every scene. The viewer can’t figure out if she is a good character or a bad one.

Positives

Inspired by the blockbuster Turkish Series, Fatmagul, Alba stands out to be a good production. The direction, the story, and the screenplay were nicely done, leading to the portrayal of several important factors of the sexist and irrational society.

The characterization of every individual is so uniquely designed that almost every viewer can connect to them and their thoughts, including the origination of hatred for negative characters.

The story starts with one primary plot but soon connects with secondary plots. Eventually, the way every plot turns out to be relevant and triggering to each other was an excellent attempt at storytelling.

However, the two primary objectives of Alba- how rape victims are treated and how money paints the rotting traces of a crime, were adequately and brilliantly portrayed. Alba was raped and constantly blamed for it, while her rapists enjoyed partying.

The cinematography was nothing extraordinary or objective; however, it was well and properly executed. Dialogues were good and realistic. 

Negatives

Excessive Melodrama forces out intensity. Alba is 13 episodes long, with each episode of approximately 50 minutes, something that shouldn’t have been the case. Of course, it is a story worth telling, but not at the cost of such long episodes.

Ideally, the series could have been 7-8 episodes if the excessive melodrama and unnecessary draggings were cut off. One example can be Hugo’s father role; he ultimately didn’t contribute any value to the series but consumed screen time.

Several instances of Alba fighting with Bruno for exactly the same reason did not take the narrative forward but dragged it. Similarly, Ruben’s characterization was made pretty clear within some time, but again, it was a dragged case made with repeated scenes.

Verdict

Alba is a good watch but should have been much shorter. Thus, if you are running short on time, watch something else but do take out some time to watch Alba. It is an empowering series that perfectly portrays the corruption in justice systems that rots the power structures while rape victims are forever blamed for their own behavior rather than the rapists’ behavior of committing a crime.

Rating: 2.5/5


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