In case you wondered how a mainstream black comedy look like if it was made in Spain, Ola de Crimenes is the answer. This is a flawed comedy with a couple of redeeming qualities that make it worth watching. First of all, the Spanish mainstream is not Hollywood mainstream, so there are some pretty explicit murder scenes. And we all know you can’t have murder without some sexual content. Something that will raise a few eyebrows and other things with its seductive presentation. Not to mention the directors’ clear obsession with cleavages. And this being a mainstream movie there wasn’t a nipple in sight, so everything felt like a teenager’s wet dream.
With a sleek and modern look and set in the bustling city of Bilbao, Basque Country, Ola de Crimenes is perfect for those nights when you’re looking for something a bit different and yet still familiar. With a runtime of ninety minutes it will keep your attention. There are some twists and turns here, but most of the story is formulaic and predictable. Which is a plus for movies like this where the brain is working with minimal capacity. Although I must admit that in the final third the movie completely let go of the coherent storytelling. They went for a mechanical approach where all the loose ends need to be tied regardless of internal logic.
Meet Leyre Blanco, a single woman going through some difficult times. After a bad divorce, her asshole ex-husband is trying to kick her and their son out of their family home. She’s also having trouble starting her cookie businesses. Of course, her ex, Cosme is rolling in cash and rolling with his new, younger wife. All the while trashing their son for being a bit weird. These are all ingredients in the recipe for disaster that Leyre is about to follow.
It’s so strange to see what’s the baseline for Spain and Europe in general. And how subjects like sex are treated, without the false righteousness that we usually find in mainstream Hollywood movies. Starring Maribel Verdú of her Y tu mamá también and Pan’s Labyrinth fame, the cast did their best with this script. I especially liked the confused taxi driver who, in my opinion, was the only real character in this entire movie. Also, I should mention none other than Luis Tosar of his Celda 211 and Mientras duermes fame. Too bad his screen time is pretty minuscule.
With a standard hour and a half run-time, Ola de Crimenes is a fun little movie and if you’re in a mood for something slightly sexual and fun. If you’re looking to continue in the same style you could check out the rest of Verdú’s comedies. Abracadabra, Sin rodeos and Sin hijos are all decent movies.
Director: Gracia Querejeta
Writer: Luis Marías
Cast: Maribel Verdú, Juana Acosta, Paula Echevarría, Antonio Resines, Miguel Bernardeau, Luis Tosar, Raúl Arévalo