“The Courier” (2024, Original title: El correo) is based on actual events that took place in Spain during the Great Spanish Depression. The story follows Ivan Marquez, who comes from a middle-class family, watching his father suffer every day, having lost all his money. Ivan loves money and desires to make it big, even if it means taking the wrong path. Ivan never misses an opportunity, and he sees one as he comes across Linarez in a drunken state, needing a drive to Brussels. One decision leads to Ivan living the life of his dreams despite his father’s disapproval. Not knowing when to stop with his fast-paced, easy money-making life, he gets in trouble with the law.

This article contains spoilers.

The Courier (El correo, 2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

The film opens in 2010 with a breathtaking cityscape, but down below, Ivan Marquez emerges from a container with millions of euros. Ivan, a Vallecas native in his early thirties, is living the high life, partying until a low-flying helicopter disrupts his celebrations. Ivan knows there is always someone waiting to mess with you. We rewind to see how Ivan ended up having this extraordinary life. Back in 1992, Ivan’s father, thriving in his prime, owned a prosperous wedding and banquet venue, bringing financial stability and happiness to the family. Most importantly, Ivan was proud of his father.

However, the 1993 recession struck, wiping out their wealth. Ivan’s father spent his time cursing at the Television, blaming the rich for stealing the commoner’s money. Ivan grew up wanting to earn well and live a better life. Despite being dismissed by his friends for his frequent business ideas, Ivan, working as a valet, seizes an opportunity. Ivan was never the brightest student in class but always knew how to seize an opportunity.

Linares is a member of the Parliament in Brussels, and he is drunk right now. Ivan offers to drive him to Brussels for a fee. Upon reaching Brussels, Ivan has an idea to make more money. Ivan speaks to Anne, the one Linares is working with, and tells her that Linares is stealing from them. Anne checks with her people, and it turns out Ivan is right. Anne offers him a job, helping him earn ten thousand euros for delivery.

The Key players

Ivan is driving with Linares, and as usual, Linares is intoxicated. Ivan takes the opportunity to check Linares’s briefcase and finds cash. He pockets some of it as Linares is fast asleep. Ivan drops a horse at Francisco Escamez’s (AKA Paco) residence, takes the money, and drives to Anne Marie and her husband, Francois Letissier’s house. Francois Letissier is the son of a diamond smuggler. Francois is the middleman who trafficks foreign currency. On his way to meet Anne, cops stop Ivan and ask about the briefcase filled with cash. Ivan doesn’t tell them the truth, and they hurt him. When he threatens to involve the Spanish consulate they let him go. Ivan meets Anne and learns the cops work with her, and Ivan has now earned her complete trust. That night, Ivan and Anne celebrate by going to a bar and a casino, and they sleep together.

Ivan becomes the Belgian courier boy driving luxurious cars and delivering cash. Ivan has to take money from Escamez and deliver it to Belgium, where the men begin diamond purchases to launder the money. This money will now be sent to the client’s bank accounts in Switzerland. Ivan learns that Escamez is a buddy of politicians, bankers, businessmen, developers, and other key societal figures. The money they make is divided between these men through commissions without leaving a trail. The money usually came from the taxpayers. Amidst all this learning, Ivan has a thing for Escamez’s daughter, Leticia. Escamez warns Ivan not to get involved with Leticia, which upsets Ivan.

Ivan goes solo

The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie Review & Ending Explained
A still from The Courier (El correo, 2024)

Ivan and Anne meet, and she informs him that they are visiting a partner since Belgium is not as safe as it used to be. They notice a particularly loud Spanish couple in the restaurant. Ivan remembers the couple as he sees Jose Luis Ocana on Television and realizes that he is cheating on his wife with the woman in the restaurant. He goes back to the same restaurant and watches Jose and the woman. Ivan then bribes the cleaning lady to give him the key to Jose’s room to set up cameras. Yannick works in the restaurant, catches Ivan getting inside the room, and stops him. Yannick agrees to help set up the camera and make him the partner for his business. Ivan gladly agrees to it. Later, Ivan and Yannick watch a sexually embarrassing video of Jose and decide to use it to get what they want.

Ivan and Yannick visit Jose to crack a deal. The duo shows the video to Jose, but Jose is unfazed as the video they have captured is illegal, and he is ready to call the cops. However, Ivan reminds him it would be a problem if his wife and kids watched this video. Jose has no choice but to accept their terms and calls a meeting with his clients. Ivan wants to open a branch in Marbella, but Jose’s men are working with Escamez. Ivan is not afraid and steals Escamez’s clients. While Ivan prepares to go solo, Inspector Manuel Roig watches Ivan’s movements.

Ivan snitches on Escamez

Escamez sends some men to beat Ivan and Yannick for stealing his clients. Ivan makes a deal with Escamez to not steal his clients and gives them a share of his clients. Ivan and Yannick go to the biggest party in town, but Ivan notices a car following them. After the party, Ivan approaches the men who turn out to be undercover cops. Inspector Manuel Roig gives Ivan and Yannick an option to either take the fall and go to prison or reveal details about the key players and put them behind bars. Ivan makes a deal and gets a second chance from the cops. Outside, Yannick points out that Escamez’s men will eventually find them, knowing they have snitched on them. Ivan and Yannick decide to take a vacation.

He visits his parents for the holidays, and his father is unhappy with how Ivan makes money. Ivan gets furious and points out that money makes life wonderful. Subsequently, Ivan needs an alibi and calls Leticia to go on a vacation. They spend time together, partying and getting intimate. Ivan also gives her a ring, and Leticia is happy. Leticia informs her father that she is spending time with Ivan and going on a European tour. However, Leticia decides to return home after watching news about Escamez and the others getting arrested. After the vacation, Ivan heads home and hears of his father’s death. Ivan succumbs to alcohol, gambling, drugs, and sleeping with women.

Ivan does business with Yao Ming

Anne gives Ivan the bad news that they need to lie low and protect their money because, after the arrests, it has been challenging to launder the money. Ivan spends time with his parents and friends. While hanging out with his friends, he notices men forcefully taking money from the restaurant owner. Ivan visits Jose in prison and learns about the Chinese Mafia, and Yao Ming smuggles cash to China. However, their method has a problem of getting caught by security.

Ivan takes the idea to Anne and tells her he has a solution. Ivan proposes to transfer their clients’ money in Switzerland to Yao’s account, and Yao gives the money in cash to their clients in Spain. Yao likes the idea and agrees to do business with them. Since the business is doing well, Ivan and Anne go out to celebrate, but their joy is short-lived. Escamez comes to the restaurant and wonders why neither visited him in prison. Anne tries to calm the man down by saying they had to go into hiding. Escamez is no fool and says he would have done the same thing, but what he wouldn’t have done was snitch. Guilty as charged, Ivan gets furious and is about to hit Escamez, but Leticia stops him.

The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Will Ivan be arrested?

The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie Review & Ending Explained
Another still from The Courier (El correo, 2024)

A new problem arises when the software engineer Jacques Stoffel leaks the bank accounts of all their clients in Switzerland. Both Stoffel and Francois run away with their money. Anne knows that the police are going to be after them now. Ivan and Anne try to escape, but the cops are already tailing them. However, Yao gets to them first. Ivan convinces Yao that he will physically deliver the money, which will get him out of the country, and Yao’s money will be transferred.

The film’s climax sees Ivan’s downfall as he faces the consequences of his actions. Arrested by the Hong Kong police, Ivan attempts to strike a deal with Inspector Roig but finds no mercy. The Inspector also tells Ivan that Anne was the one who snitched, which led to his arrest. Yao Ming was also caught in the end. Ivan spends time in prison and realizes that his father was right all along, but he confesses that money and greed make one corrupt whether they like it or not.

Towards the end, all the key players involved in money laundering are arrested. Ivan regrets his actions after spending time in prison, but he also understands that money is like a virus. Despite having chances to let the illegal activities go, Ivan enjoyed the things money brought with them. After watching his father suffer, he knew he wanted to live in comfort. Greed got the better of Ivan, eventually putting him behind bars.

The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie Review:

“The Courier” is based on actual events and showcases the Great Spanish Depression. Ivan is one of the people among others who did illegal activities, putting the country in debt. The sufferers are the taxpayers. The film has real-life footage in bits and pieces throughout. The idea is to emphasize the reality of the unbelievable crimes that took place during The Great Spanish Depression. There are repeated montages of Ivan partying and driving luxurious cars, giving a subtle message of the fast life that money comes with. The cast does their job as Ivan goes from having nothing to a rich guy who is now charismatic and can win over the Mafia.

From the point of view of content creation, we have seen many films that focus on crimes of powerful people, and in some, they pay a price for it, and in others, they go without any harm done. In this film, even though the people pay for their crimes, the impact is not as powerful. Throughout the film, we watch the lavish lives of the rich, and there is very little remorse. The ‘regret’ part of the story is missing since it is based on actual events, and it leaves a bitter feeling in the end. At the end of the film, Ivan says he regrets his actions, but it almost feels like a parent advising a child without believing in it.

If you want a glimpse into the lavish lives of rich criminals without being interested in learning more about the price they pay for their crimes, “The Courier” is the film to watch. The film uses slick montages and luxurious cars to try to keep you engaged. For a crime thriller, the film is mostly an easy, entertaining watch that does not necessarily encourage conversation about the Great Spanish Depression.

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The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
Cast of The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie: Arón Piper, María Pedraza, Luis Tosar, Laura Sépul, Nourdin Batán, José Manuel Poga, Luis Zahera
The Courier (El correo, 2024) Movie Genre: Crime/Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 41m
Where to watch The Courier

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