'Offering to the Storm' movie review: An efficient finale

Based on the best-selling Spanish series by Dolores Redondo, the films draw from their setting and the reimagining of the land’s myths.

Published: 02nd August 2020 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2020 01:22 PM   |  A+A-

A still from movie

It’s a cliché, even if an effective trope, to make the investigating officer in a police procedural a tormented soul. This allows the character to get a redemptive arc while solving crime. While many a cop has been subjected to this idea, is there anyone who has been more tormented than the FBI-trained inspector Amaia Salazar? It is torment that occurs over three films of the Baztan trilogy, which has reached its culmination in a way with Offering to the Storm, that’s streaming on Netflix, like the first two films, The Invisible Guardian and The Legacy of the Bones.

Based on the best-selling Spanish series by Dolores Redondo, the films draw from their setting and the reimagining of the land’s myths. If the first film had Salazar finding skeletons in her closet, the second saw a series of suicides. Offering to the Storm sticks to this pattern as Salazar’s investigation into dead babies missing from their coffins leads her to all-consuming revelations about her personal equations from the past, the present, and in all likelihood, her future as well. The previous two films told us about her turbulent equation with an abusive mother. We were briefly introduced to the presence of an occult in Salazar’s hometown that threatened many lives, and in this film, we dive into the epicentre of this crazed-up school of witchcraft.

Offering to the Storm, true to its title, looks tempestuous and gloomy. The cinematography by Xavi Gimenez is a character in itself in this film that communicates an overall sense of dread. Although the film has solid subtexts of the supernatural while being a family drama too, the writing never loses sight of being a police procedural. For the first time in this trilogy, we get to know more about Salazar’s relationships with her fellow cops. While this film could well work as a standalone entity, it is best watched as a part of the trilogy.

The film does take its time (140 minutes) to get to its interesting reveal, and the slow-burner facet of this film occasionally feels forced. There is much time spent unravelling threads that yield little impact. The collateral damage written into this film doesn’t work either. There are too many attempts at lending it emotional heft too, which feel underwhelming. It’s a film that seems to suffer from the writers cramming trying too many things into the finale.

Nevertheless, the loose ends get tied up, and this third part sees both the actors and the director really getting into their groove. Be it in the decision to treat this material as a slow-burner or allowing scenes to breathe without overpowering music, this conclusion serves as a satisfactory, unhurried end to the trilogy. —

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