There is nothing more satisfying than a good detective story. There have been a couple of efforts recently released on Netflix that have tried to grasp the formula and make for a story that would make Poe proud of inventing the genre. It is a hard genre to work with, there have been so many detective stories throughout the decades that we might feel we have seen everything already. Which is true.
42 Days of Darkness feels very familiar. The show has every single element that you can possibly think of when the idea of a crime story comes into mind. A clear suspect, a down on his luck detective, an obsessive investigator, and as many twists and turns as a rollercoaster. Is this familiar show worth watching? Or we better spend our time somewhere else?
42 Days of Darkness is developed by Rodrigo Fluxa and stars Olivia Vargas, Nestor Cantillana, Amparo Noguera, Pablo Macaya, and Daniel Alcaíno. The series is based on a book written by Rodrigo Fluxa himself. The show tells the story of the disappearance of Veronica Montes, mother and wife, who apparently had a perfect life. The story brings together a number of characters as they try to find the truth throughout many years of investigation.
Yes, we can say that 42 Days of Darkness is very familiar. All the tropes are in here and yet, the story is quite captivating and will grab audiences from the get go thanks to a very solid presentation, good writing, and more than anything, wonderful characters. The characters are the end of the day will what makes you binge this show from beginning to end, because the mystery itself it just isn’t that compelling by itself.
What is most interesting in the way that 42 Days of Darkness presents its story is in how many points of view take part not only in the investigation, but also in the surrounding area of effect around the event. Towards the middle of the show, characters that don’t really have anything to do with the mystery remain compelling because they are more just plot devices, they are real characters and their interactions affect everything around them.
The plot itself is well-structured, and the writers have found a way to make you push play on the next episode immediately after one is over. The fact that the show only lasts for six 40 minutes episodes is also a blessing. This means that 42 Days of Darkness offers good quality entertaining, but also doesn’t really need to be a big time commitment.
One of the most solid parts of the show is the direction. The directors have really done a great show when it comes to creating an atmosphere. An atmosphere of despair, sadness, and mystery. There are really many variations on the mood, and that means the directors really know what they are supposed to do to tell the story.
The camera work is also quite solid, There aren’t any fantastic shots that will make you go wow! But the show doesn’t need them. Instead, it makes for a very solid representation of a small Chilean town, and that is all it needs to be. The setting will definitely be exotic for people who have never seen this type of show outside the Scandinavian parts of the world where they are often made.
If the characters are the main reason as to why watch the show, that only means the actors reached their goal when it comes to bring these characters from the page to the screen. Every actor, no matter how small the role is, manages to stand out in some way or another. Each of the characters has a scene where they get to shine, and that is something we don’t see very often in a series with such a huge cast.
For example, Pablo Macaya, who plays Victor Pizarro, feels like a fantastic out of the box choice for a protagonist. This is a middle-aged man, playing a down on his luck lawyer, who is looking to bring back the glory days by solving the case. This character is obsessive, annoying, but you will also pity him and root for him every step of the way. It is quite exciting.
The character only reaches those heughts thanks to Macaya’s acting. The same could be said for Nora, played by Amparo Noguera. Nora is more of a supporting character, but makes waves in the story that are just as strong as anyone else’s. Noguera creates a wonderful character that is a delight to watch in action. She brings a lot of intensity.
The show can feel very familiar when it comes to the plot, but the casting is anything but. Nowadays, if this show was made in Hollywood, most of the roles would be filled with beautiful people, supermodels trying to pass for regular people. This is not the case here, every character feels real, and because of it, the story itself feels real, even when you’re watching through a TV. More shows and movies should take this route. Unrealistic casting doesn’t really sell the story.
42 Days of Darkness is a juicy little mystery that will entertain you completely. Its short run makes it an easy time commitment, and the excellent acting sells the story better than the story itself. It is a great find among the sea of releases that Netflix pulls out every week.