The Marked Heart review: An aesthetically dark telenovela that fails to impress

The Marked Heart is a Colombian telenovela-style thriller following Simón’s quest for his wife’s killers while he unknowingly falls in love with the woman who now possesses her heart. All fourteen episodes are now streaming on Netflix.

Story

Valeria celebrates her birthday with her husband and two kids at their family pizzeria. Her husband, Simón, gifts her tickets to Carlos Vives’ concert.

The couple is on their way back home when they swerve and crash into a tree. Valeria is abducted by suspicious people. Simón wakes up to find his wife missing and calls for help. 

Meanwhile, Camila, a photographer, faints during her wedding with Zacarías, a powerful and influential man who is informed that his wife needs to find a heart donor to survive.

Having exhausted all other options, Zacarías considers shady alternatives. He finds a heart just in time for Camila to be saved. She successfully undergoes surgery and wishes to learn about her heart’s previous owner. 

Camila and Simón find themselves attracted to each other at a Carlos Vives’ concert. Zacarías finds himself caught up in the dangerous world of organ trafficking as he deals with the consequences of his choices.

Performances

Ana Lucía Domínguez aptly portrays Camila, a naive young woman led by her emotions on a mission to uncover her heart’s donor.

Simón, a widower trying to guide his family through grief while in the pursuit of his wife’s killers, is played well by Michel Brown.

The chemistry between Simón and his family (played by Margarita Muñoz, Valeria Emiliani and Andrés Mejía) is certainly apparent throughout the show and feels quite natural. 

Positives

The show features numerous shots that please the eye with the help of minimalistic sets that serve their purpose but don’t feel lived-in and organic. 

With a talented cast, the show presents several scenes that enhance the naturally flowing chemistry between the actors, particularly in the first few episodes as it establishes the characters’ existing relationships.

Negatives

The series includes songs that, at times, draw the audience’s attention away from the scene. However, it succeeds in making use of dramatic background sounds to guide the viewer’s perception, a technique common in telenovelas. 

The creator, Leonardo Padrón, displays an appreciable boldness in combining the usual drama and plot twists of telenovelas with a serious and dark theme. However, the show fails to handle the issue delicately and disappoints by sticking to the conventional telenovela format. 

A majority of the episodes focus on reaching a point that is inevitable for the progression of the plot. Following this, the plot takes its time proceeding toward its climax predictably for fourteen lengthy and slow-paced episodes.

Verdict

The Marked Heart advances beyond the boundaries of telenovelas with its dark theme, building a path for future pieces of the same genre. 

Despite the series’ aesthetic look and fresh concept, viewers are unlikely to endure the entirety of this show unless they appreciate and are familiar with the dramatic and convenient plot twists of telenovelas. 

Rating: 2/5


Also Read: The Marked Heart summary and ending explained