42 Days of Darkness Review: There’s Hardly Anything to Dislike about this Heartbreaking and Compelling Chilean Show

The element of disappearance has often been used as a precursor to a thrilling plot. Superhit shows like Stranger Things, Dark, etc., have set the ball rolling with the mysterious vanishing of a certain character.

A new Chilean series on Netflix, 42 Days of Darkness, is based on a similar plot but with a different motive. The show is inspired by a real story and based on a book by Rodrigo Fluxa. Scroll on to see whether it comes good on the expectations or not.

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42 Days of Darkness Review Summary

Taking cues from a real-life incident, 42 Days of Darkness explores the crime and suspense genre meritoriously. It will give you chills and ensure you stay glued to the screen for the entire six episodes. But is that all?

Keep reading my 42 Days of Darkness Review as I analyze the show in detail. Moreover, if you wish to get acquainted with the actual case, do visit the FAQs section.

42 Days of Darkness Synopsis

Directed by Gaspar Antillo and Claudia Huaiquimilla, 42 Days of Darkness stars Claudia Di Girolamo (Cecilia), Pablo Macaya (Victor Pizarro), Daniel Alcaino (Mario), Aline Kuppenheim (Veronica), Julia Lubbert (Kari), etc.

A woman (Veronica) goes missing in a usually quiet and peaceful town in Chile, leaving her family and well-wishers in a state of disbelief. When authorities lag behind in uncovering the truth, a lawyer offers help to the fearful family and leads a parallel investigation.

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What works for 42 Days of Darkness?

Background Score

The first thing you expect a mysterious story to ace is its background music, and 42 Days of Darkness doesn’t disappoint. It intelligently uses a blend of pensive and intense tones to draw your attention.

Thankfully, makers don’t inundate you with more beats and less action. No build-up is wasted in this cerebral Chilean show while delivering a consummate binge-watching experience.

Convoluted Plot

I put this here because the show’s roots lie in a true story, and it’s damn challenging to recreate things on the screen with intricacy. 42 Days of Darkness has a plot that gradually transforms into a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

Music

I don’t understand Spanish, but all the songs in 42 Days of Darkness felt relaxing to the ears. If you have read my The Sound of Magic review, you know how I called the presence of songs in the show a tad overwhelming. 

Now, both 42 Days of Darkness and The Sound of Magic rely on native music to some extent. However, the former has a better presence of songs due to their accommodative nature and a short length.

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Performances

42 Days of Darkness contains numerous impressive performances. Since I couldn’t corroborate through Netflix the names of the actors against that of the characters they play due to language constraints, I decided to google the same. 

Surprisingly, I found out Danielle Alcaino, who plays Mario in 42 Days of Darkness, is a comedian. I was almost shocked that a guy who is into funny things could pull off such a calm and severe role. Alcaino is marvelous while being a helpless dad and husband in the show.

He cleverly forbids himself from throwing a heavy blow of expressions all at once. Instead, the actor takes things one by one. If you observe the series closely, you will find that his character doesn’t have too many dialogues despite a decent presence. 

It means Alcaino acted more through his repressed sense of countenance than diction, which is not easy.

Pablo Macaya is the lifeline of 42 Days of Darkness. The actor is unpretentious while perfectly honing humor, seriousness, and emotions. He enters the scene as a longstanding loser but leaves as a gritty performer. My personal favorite scenes of him were when he discussed the case with his associates. The sheer honesty in Pablo’s eyes could win over anyone.

Another impressive portrayal comes from Julia Lubbert, who plays Kari. Her modest manifestation of a teenager is both lovable and fulfilling. Never for once did she look mawkish. As a young girl who is distraught about her mother’s disappearance, a lot was asked of her, and she has passed the challenges with flying colors.

Claudia Di Girolamo is another heck of an actor. She gets to play the most fraught character in 42 Days of Darkness and nearly outshines everyone else. Claudia’s authentic outpour of vivid emotions holds this Netflix show together.

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Screenplay

It has an exciting and tense screenplay, setting the right tone for the show. A lazy display of events would have brought 42 Days of Darkness to its knees. However, it keeps you involved and on the edge of your seat.

Furthermore, if ever the story begins to seem monotonous, the screenplay picks it up and puts it in the right place. If even one of the factors among background music and screen presentation had not worked, I am sure 42 Days of Darkness would have suffered big time.

What doesn’t work for 42 Days of Darkness?

Confusing in the beginning

I felt the makers could have used a different way to introduce characters. At the start, it takes time to understand what is happening on the screen. A bit of clarity would have made things less confusing for the viewers. (Poor me couldn’t even distinguish among the two sisters initially)

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FAQs

Is 42 Days of Darkness based on a real story?

42 Days of Darkness is loosely based on a real-life incident that occurred in Puerto Varas, located in Los Lagos (Southern Chile). Though the makers have not overtly mentioned it in disclaimers, they are clear about the show following the book You Know Who. Notes on the Homicide of Viviana Haeger by Rodrigo Fluxa, a journalist.

In essence, the plot of 42 Days of Darkness is 99% identical to the disappearance and alleged murder of Viviana Haeger. She was married to Jaime Anguita with two daughters. For more details on the case, you can visit this page.

42 Days of Darkness is based on which book?

It is based on You Know Who. Notes on the Homicide of Viviana Haeger by Rodrigo Fluxa, a journalist.

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