Some shows don’t make any pre-release noise. They just come and rely entirely on their content and the target audience.
I had not heard anything about Romancero, a new series that released on Prime Video on Nov 3. And honestly, if I didn’t have to review the show, I would have never known it existed.
Originating from Spain, it has six episodes and almost all of them run for thirty minutes each.
Is the offbeat series the right choice to stream? Read on to find out.
Two teenagers, Cornelia and Jordan, are on the run. One is being chased for a murder while the other is considered an accomplice.
However, they are nothing more than strangers.
The tough journey of the two youngsters has several human and supernatural constraints on the way. Will they be able to survive?
Created by Fernando Navarro and Manson, the show stars Elena Matic (Cornelia), Sasha Cocola (Jordan), Ricardo Gomez (Diego Sorroche), Guillermo Toledo (Teodore), Belen Cuesta (Carmen), and Julieta Cardinali (Caterina).
What Works for Romancero?
The series kicks off with a gripping scene, as two youngsters flee for their lives amidst an atmosphere laden with darkness and foreboding.
Suspense weaves its way into the backdrop, and an enigmatic aura lingers beneath the surface, setting the tone for much of the show.
Romancero thrives on maintaining a web of enticing mysteries that seamlessly unfold alongside the narrative.
The plot, intricate and layered, demands careful dot-connecting from viewers, eschewing the simplicity of readily furnished storylines.
The series doesn’t offer an easy ride, making the audience work, at times, quite diligently.
Romancero’s concept mixes a vampire-driven society, having a good and a bad side, with a human population that has evils of its own.
The screenplay switches from the present to the past. Intermittent shifts include going into another world that houses overarching elements.
Moreover, the cinematography has finesse. When you see it together with the video effects, the series rises above the average vampire movie we watch regularly.
An impressive notion I hold for Romancero is its ability to avoid throwing all at once. The Spanish show never barrages you with extraterrestrial features.
It balances out the narrative with multiple personal stories, adding a much-needed touch of authenticity.
Emotions are portrayed with decency, steering clear of unnecessary melodrama or undue sentimentality.
How are the Performances?
In the dynamic duo of Elena Matic and Sasha Cocola, portraying Cornelia and Jordan, Romancero finds a magnetic synergy.
Their on-screen chemistry masterfully encapsulates affability, a childlike yearning for autonomy, and a palpable sense of characteristic fierceness.
Watching them is an engaging experience, yet their compelling performances could have been further amplified with a more robust script to explore their characters.
Ricardo Gomez plays Diego Sorroche. As a bad cop, who has all the wrong qualities, he makes you hate him. He effectively transports the disgusting feeling of wishing bad for his character.
While the remaining cast delivers commendable performances, their potential is somewhat restrained by limited space to carve out distinguishable roles within the show.
The ensemble’s talent is evident, but a more expansive canvas could have allowed them to shine more brightly.
What Doesn’t Work for Romancero?
While Romancero boasts its merits, the storyline falls a bit short of fulfillment. Initially, I assumed it spanned eight episodes, only to realize my mistake.
However, a couple more episodes would have served the narrative well, as the current form lacks a satisfying conclusion, ending abruptly without a proper buildup.
Somewhere down the line, despite all the pluses of the intricately built storyline, you can sense a faulty execution.
Further, the background score could have been better. A spooky visual setting needed equally baffling music to effect chills.
The makers seem to have planned the narrative in a way to finish the story in at least 2-3 seasons. Maybe, this is why they hide more than they show on the screen.
In my opinion, the move backfires and leads to a below-par experience for the viewers.
There is hardly any depth that leads to deeper emotions. Instead, you just have a sly narration trying to set up the base for the next season.
Lastly, a real lack of clarity occurs when certain dimensions overlap each other towards the last two episodes.
It is somewhat confusing and might demand repeat watching to fully understand the context.
Stream or Skip?
It is a goofy idea and definitely has a lot of positives. You can give it a go.