Monday, March 21, 2016

Malicia (Pure Evil) - Argentinian crime drama on All4


Malicia (rebranded Pure Evil for those discerning enough to find it but too dumb to figure out what 'malicia' means) is part of Channel 4's world drama package, Walter Presents.  Available only online via the All4 app. it consists for thirteen half-hour episodes.

At its black heart is Daniel Parodi (Gabriel Goity, seen above), a cop who seems to have been on permanent sick leave since the death of his daughter six years earlier.  Despite this, he seems to be on an informal retainer with the prosecutor, played by Ana Celentano, with whom he may be in love. They meet for a swim most days.  Meanwhile Parodi has assembled an ad hoc investigation team in the bookshop run by former policeman Ernesto.  Their principal case for the last six years has been the murder of Parodi's daughter Laura.  There is no doubt she was murdered - the killer lured Parodi there to watch.  That is the hook that kicks off the series.  That is when we realise we are in for a tour de force of acting from Goity.

Soon everyone from psychiatric patients to human traffickers is dying and all deaths seem to be linked to the works of Argentinian uber-author Jorge Luis Borges.  Then the prosecutor is raped at the swimming pool, a young girl is kidnapped and renamed Laura Parodi, and it becomes abundantly clear that the titular malice is being deliberately piled onto the shoulders of Parodi.

The cast is fantastic, Goity in particular.  The interplay with Celentano is subtly done. The story is - pace Borges - labyrinthine and the half-hour format means we get twice as many cliffhangers than in the usual 6 x 60 minutes.  I'm on Episode 12 and still don't know for sure who's behind it all or how Parodi will figure it out in the remaining 30 minutes.

The All4 app works well and is a great way to watch a series like Pure Evil.  I am hooked.