The reactions to any Spanish production with a setting in times of dictatorship and immediately after are quite predictable. The cries of mourners about the fact that Spanish fiction only knows how to talk about Francoism are unoriginal and excessively superficial. They miss out because they want to do their own version of Homer Simpson doing a handstand to get his mom’s attention.
Because there pretty amazing productions, some of the best that Spanish industry has produced in recent years, and have a clearly Francoist setting in their period work. Not only that, but they approach the period head-on and critically, without ceasing to do polyhedral character studies. The best case of them is ‘The day after tomorrow’.
promises of prosperity
Mariano Barroso’s miniseries for Movistar+ has only 6 episodes and a duration of nearly 5 hours in total, and it is of the best that Spanish fiction has given in the last five years. And not for addressing the late Francoism (or not only for that), but to do it with loving and exquisite care in all areas, starting with the script and ending with an extremely inspired cast.
Oriol Pla plays Justo Gil, an ambitious young man with concerns and desire to become notorious. He arrives in a prosperous Barcelona full of opportunities in the middle of the sixties, seeking to become a successful man even without having resources at his disposal. Thus begins a turbulent search for freedom and a future in an environment that is not conducive to it, with the region trying to become an Oasis within the country.
Of course, the look at Gil’s character hides many layers. From seducer to swindler, from revolutionary to traitor, from spy to liar. The goal is moving all the time in a fine script exercise by Barroso and Alejandro Hernández, who praise the novel by Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, also taking advantage of its structure of external testimonies to try to locate the leading figure.
‘The day after tomorrow’: how far to go
Pla is responsible for maintaining the magnetic and enigmatic aura of a protagonist who is exhilarating to see dissected. The cast around him also helps to sell the curiosity around him, highlighting an Aura Garrido who is once again synonymous with enormous guarantees every time she goes through the small screen.
Each episode reveals more and more about these characters, and explores the complex corners of the sociopolitical context of the moment to make relevant connections with our present. But, above all, it works as an ambitious deconstruction of ambition and the harmful consequences it can bring.
‘The day after tomorrow’ is the kind of production that deserves all the attention beyond affinities, because it is calibrated with perfect taste and that is always appreciated.
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