La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta chronicles the story of outlaw Joaquín Murrieta, who forms an unlikely team when his associate, Adela, gets captured by the US Rangers. The series is now streaming on Prime Video.
Outlaw Joaquín Murrieta and his Chinese associate, Adela Cheng, travel across the new border of Mexico. Murrieta is stealing gold and giving it back to the people who were loyal to him when Mexico lost to the United States six years ago.
Both Murrieta and Adela have a bounty on their heads. Nevertheless, they continue their journey, killing anyone who crosses them. Murrieta and Adela part ways when Adela later learns that Murrieta has plans to kill her as well.
There is a past that Murrieta hasn’t shared with Adela, and he is reluctant to tell her about it. He is then left with no option but to ask her to go her own way.
Meanwhile, a man named Carillo loses his family when they don’t adhere to the orders of the US Rangers and don’t leave their land in time. Carillo and Murrieta’s paths cross when Adela gets captured by the same US Rangers who killed Carillo’s family.
Murrieta is forced to team up with a revenge-driven Carillo, as they both need each other if they want to fight off the US Rangers and their leader, Harry Love, who has big political goals.
Juan Manuel Bernal, as Joaquín Murrieta, manages to come out as a carefree outlaw all the time. Bernal gives a performance where it really feels like he is not worried about dying, no matter how bad the circumstances get. This attitude of Murrieta stays alive till the end.
There are also times when Murrieta loses his loved ones or is lost. Bernal gradually shows the emotion of fear and grief that is required here.
Alejandro Speitzer, as Carillo, is given an equal amount of screen time as Bernal. Carillo’s story isn’t exactly a subplot to Murrieta’s.
Unfortunately, Speitzer doesn’t get a chance to give something different to the audience because Carillo doesn’t really have a unique motive or goal. He is calm, for sure, despite being revenge-driven, but he doesn’t really add anything new to the plot.
Becky Zhu Wu, as Adela Cheng, on the other hand, keeps the viewers excited. Her character is written to be unpredictable. The fact that her character’s story is kept in dark for most of the show turns everyone’s attention to Becky Zhu Wu.
La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta establishes the relationships of the characters well. In a way, the viewers can understand what one person means to the other.
For example, though Murrieta and Adela part ways right in the beginning and there is not much time given to their relationship, one ends up longing for them to reunite somewhere down the road.
These relationships carry the show on their backs. Towards the end, La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta moves away from being Joaquín Murrieta’s show by giving each character associated with Murrieta some level of importance.
Carillo’s arc helps the viewers to get familiar with the cruelty that Mexicans are facing at the hands of the US Rangers. Overall, the show is pretty lighthearted, and there are very few scenes where it has opted to use elements of gore and brutality.
There are times the show has tried to introduce the culture and the beliefs from back in time. While these scenes and subplots are educational, they are hardly entertaining.
The show adds pieces of Adela and Murrieta’s past during these subplots to keep the viewers hooked, but that’s the only saving grace here.
The last two episodes are tedious. La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta seems to keep introducing new characters or giving the already established characters something new to explore rather than focusing on the task at hand, which is to bring the story full circle.
Adela going back to her Chinese roots is an arc that should have been fleshed out. The show inserts it somewhere between the tensions of the finale.
La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta comes with its own ups and downs. While the characters are in the right place, the plot and the world built into the show towards the end aren’t.
The plot especially becomes a slog in the finale. If the viewers can get past that, they can enjoy this western drama.
La Cabeza de Joaquín Murrieta
Director: Mauricio Leiva-Cock, Humberto Hinojosa Ozcariz, David Pablos
Date Created: 2023-02-17 05:30