Based on Fernanda Melchor’s novel, Hurricane Season revolves around the lives of different people whose secrets are revealed when a woman gets murdered in their small town. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
In a small town in Mexico, a transwoman, known as the Witch, throws wild parties that are attended by young boys. One day, her corpse is found in a canal by a group of teenagers.
The events leading up to her murder are told from the perspective of four characters — Yesenia, Munra, Norma, and Brando — whose stories are linked with the murder in one way or another.
Yesenia lives with her grandmother and other cousins. Although Yesenia works hard all day, her grandmother does not love her like she loves Luismi, Yesenia’s cousin. Yesenia’s efforts to expose Luismi’s relationship with the Witch and win her grandmother’s affection make matters worse.
Munra, a disabled man, lives with Luismi’s mother. When Luismi finds his pregnant girlfriend bleeding uncontrollably, he seeks Munra’s help to take her to the hospital. The subsequent discoveries turn Luismi’s relationship with the Witch sour.
Luismi’s girlfriend, Norma, was helped by Luismi when she first came to town. Soon, they start dating. Norma then tries to get rid of her past, but not without dire consequences.
Lastly, Brando is a friend of Luismi’s who dreams of getting out of this town. His ambitions and desires change his life forever, but not for the better. The stories of the four characters overlap and paint a clear picture of the Witch’s murder.
The actors in the leading roles, Paloma Alvamar, Kat Rigoni, Ernesto Meléndez, and Andrés Cordaz, perform their parts well. Their string performances bring out the complexity of their characters.
Rigoni and Cordaz’s portrayal of Norma and Luismi, two children in a corrupt world, has a touch of innocence. On the other hand, Alvamar, whose character’s actions are governed by her need for her grandmother’s love, comes across as bitter.
Meléndez’s selfish and unkind character is not very likable, which proves that the actor did a good job. Additionally, even when Meléndez has to depict his character’s vulnerabilities, the actor does not falter.
The town in the film comes across as stifling. That suffocation is felt in a lot of scenes, such as Yesenia’s punishment. Apart from the plot, the acting, the sets, and the choice of vertical video also contribute to that stifling atmosphere.
The film highlights how oppressive hypermasculinity can be for men. It is never said but shown how societal expectations of men direct their actions and hurt not only others around them but also themselves, as seen in the case of Brando’s suppression of his desires.
Then there are characters, like the Witch, who are on the margins of society. The story is never told from her point of view, which further emphasizes her marginalization. She is a good woman, but she is considered dangerous, as she refuses to play the role that was assigned to her at birth. The unfamiliar scares humans, and the story ends with a witch hunt.
The characters and their lives are so engaging that once the audience becomes familiar with them, they will not lose interest in the story, even when it becomes very evident what led to the Witch’s murder.
The film is more about the wretched lives of the characters than the murder. Their lives, devoid of love, are full of pain, emotional and physical, which is felt by the audience as well. Norma’s pain is so visceral that it becomes hard to watch.
The mystery of the Witch’s murder is not actually a mystery. Before the first part of the film is over, it is revealed who killed the witch. This happens at a time when the audience is yet to become familiar with the characters, so the reaction to the revelation is lukewarm.
The parts of the whole story are revealed one by one through different perspectives. As the stories have gaps, it takes time for the audience to get invested in the plot of the film.
Hurricane Season is a mystery film that is concerned more with the motive for murder than who the murderer is. It is the stories of the characters, their circumstances, and their desires that make it a fascinating film.
Director: Elisa Miller
Date Created: 2023-11-01 11:17