🇲🇽 WHO KILLED SARA? S1-2 🇲🇽
Who Killed Sara? ¿Quién mató a Sara? (2021-) Is a Mexican mystery/crime show on Netflix internationally. 2 seasons, 10 S1, 8 S2. 36-46 min. 15 Cert U.K. Spanish with subtitles, dubbing also available.
Hell-bent on exacting revenge and proving he was framed for his sister’s murder, Álex sets out to unearth much more than the crime’s real culprit. (Netflix)
Manolo Cardona as Álex
Eugenio Siller as José Maria
Ana Lucía Domínguez as Sofia
Iñaki Godoy as Bruno
Ginés García Millán as César
Carolina Miranda as Elisa
Alejandro Nones as Rodolfo
Claudia Ramírez as Mariana
Juan Carlos Remolina as Sergio
Ximena Lamadrid as Sara
Luis Roberto Guzmán as Lorenzo
Héctor Jiménez as Elroy
Directors: David Ruiz & Bernardo De la Rosa Villarreal
Cinematographers: Diego Gajardo & Rodrigo Marina
Writers: José Ignacio Valenzuela & Rosario Valenzuela
Music: David Murillo R.
Costume: Atzin Hernández
Stunts: Tomás Guzmán & Omar Ayala
Who Killed Sara? Became Netflix’s most popular “foreign-language” series in the U.S. ever, ousting Money Heist from the top spot.
I confess that aside from co-productions such as Narcos: Mexico and El Candidato this is the first Mexican TV show that I have ever watched. As a keen fan of these co-productions and other Spanish language TV such as El Marginal (Argentinian), Money Heist (Spanish), Locked Up, Unauthorised Living and The Great Heist I was keen to see what Mexico would bring. I expected high octane, some melodrama, aspects of a telenovela (that’s a polarising thing), plot twists (as in “What the hell just happened?) and strong characters. Did Who Killed Sara? disappoint me or surprise me in this respect?
For the most part Who Killed Sara? neither disappointed nor surprised me, in that all the expected elements were there. What certainly was a surprise was that this show is far more “noir” than I had anticipated. The secrets that are buried (sometimes literally) are dark and very disturbing.
Álex is an interesting protagonist in that he is not squeaky clean and is quite willing to take no prisoners in the hunt for his little sister’s killer. Season 1 is very much taken up with his trying to find out who tampered with Sara’s harness leading to her death. During this investigation, dark secrets are uncovered and we discover that everyone else has been left affected by her death as well.
In fact, as season 2 progresses we can see that Álex becomes increasingly frayed around the edges and his moral compass is badly skewed at times. This friction for his character is fuelled by his uncovering unpleasant and deeply disturbing truths about his sister. What motivates Álex is vengeance and, as he is told if you go out seeking vengeance best dig two graves, one for yourself. There is an ever-present conflict between and examination of “justice” “punishment” and “revenge.
Whilst I have watched other shows with self-flagellation this one is pretty unique in the way that it is shown for one character. Others self-flagellate psychologically because of their guilt. At this point, I will say that the mother is one of the strangest, most disturbing characters in this show. I truly do not know what to make of her.
One thing with this show is that you can expect the unexpected. The pacing drops at times, especially in season 2 but it still held my attention. Desire to see what the heck was going to happen next!
The direction and cinematography are extremely good in this, the visuals are strong and the frames are often stunning BUT the editing, lighting and colourisation are at times bizarre… as the shots cut from one person to another in the exact same location the colour palette and lighting are just not consistent. I assume that they were shot at a different time but this is not a good look, literally. I noticed this more in season 2.
I do love the costuming in this (shallow? Perhaps…) and the locations are often captivating. I would love to own some of these dwellings and there is nothing quite like a fairground location, even if it’s shut or dilapidated. Still not sure about Álex’s beard in season 1…
I enjoyed the performances in this, even if some fall into the expected telenovela type. The younger members of the cast are excellent and I liked the nuances that many of the older members of the cast brought to their roles.
I will say at this point that some of the viewer reviews on IMDb for Who Killed Sara? are highly entertaining, even hilarious, in themselves. It is clear that this is a show that has polarised viewers because Wow! There is a LOT of hate for what is a piece of entertainment. If you are upset by watching a show with sex, nudity, swearing, violence, drug-taking (and probably a few other things I have forgotten) then I can safely say that this is NOT the show for you.
What I did really appreciate in this show however is the portrayal of a married gay couple albeit with a very “it’s complicated” “thing” going on. Also, the way it shows and tackles social and class differences and the enormous effects these have on people’s chances, choices and lives. There is no prevaricating as to what some parents will do for their children, or themselves up to and including the sacrifice of others. Where there is violence towards women, and this is a strong thread running throughout, it is made quite clear that the perpetrators are truly loathsome and deserve punishment. Perhaps this is a reflection of having a woman as a co-writer on this show.
Was I not entertained? Yes, I was. This is not high art, in fact, it is really quite trashy at times and it is definitely far from perfect but goodness me, it keeps you on your toes. I am looking forward to season 3 should it be renewed, which seems highly likely. As an introduction to Mexican drama Who Killed Sara? has worked for me.
Trailer S1: Facebook video subtitled