Watching Spanish director Jesús Torres Torres’ ‘Nadie sabrá nunca‘ (No One Will Ever Know) on Netflix took me back to ‘Roma’. Not because it is about a Spanish housemade but because it tells the story that feels stretched out from the same plane. The sad part is, Torres’ film neither has the craft, nor the dramatic heft to stand even remotely close to Cuarón’s masterpiece. Instead, it suffices in becoming a drama where fiction is the only escape. Sadly, the fiction can’t salvage this bland, uninspiring tale of being trapped in one’s own home.
The film opens with a black and white sequence of a lonesome cowboy heading towards a town. These stark images ensure that Torres’ film could end up being a western about a bounty hunter. But soon enough the action turns to color where reality is as bleak as the aforementioned erased colors. Set in a rural town in 1970s Mexico, the film revolves around Lucia (Adriana Paz) and her son Braulio (Luciano Marti). The monotony of daily life has settled into Lucia, but she is worried about her son’s future. She doesn’t want him to end up like his father who is mostly away for business.
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Becking and helpless, Lucia and Braulio both find relief in comforting fictions as heard and seen in radionovelas and movies. Lucia lets Brulio’s mind run wild in a fictional world because she thinks that it will make him understand that a better life awaits for him somewhere. All he needs to do is escape. She is also trying her best to make things work for her family by asking her sister about the ways to survive the city. The husband has accustomed himself to the wraths of village life and has no desires left. Lucia, on the other hand, holds on to dear hope because her fictional world has made her believe in magic.
The film recollects moments of her life and occasionally other women who have been trapped into the village life because of a patriarchal approach. All of them have been beaten up by time and foolishness of decisions. Which is why Lucia wants her son to have a better existence. Braulio, on the other hand, is a small kid whose worldview snaps around as he sees more and more cowboy films. He sure isn’t pleased with how his father treats the family and her mother. This can be understood from the numerous times when he dreams of a rescue from a young, well-built cowboy.
The film, however, lacks the coherence to completely replicate their misery or a lack of. The constant shift from black and white to color keeps changing the narrative gears and the overall emotional impact is diluted to a degree where even a standout performance from Adriana Paz is overshadowed. Everyone else in the film feels like they are sleepwalking through their roles with nothing substantial provided to their one-note personas. The ending especially doesn’t feel earned. It actually feels like a complete departure from the central conflict to only serve as a shocker.
Director Jesús Torres Torres manages to provide technical relevance to an otherwise uneven script because of his background in lighting and cinematography. But nothing much saves Nadie sabrá nunca (No One Will Ever Know) from dying an unexpected death much before the actual end.
Nadie sabrá nunca (No One Will Ever Know) is now streaming on Netflix
Nadie sabrá nunca (No One Will Ever Know) Netflix Trailer