The Crimes that Bind (2020) A Review

Another crime drama offering from Netflix.  Can this one stand out from the plethora of others from the streaming service?

Certificate: 15

Director: Sebastián Schindel

Screenwriter: Pablo Del Teso, Sebastián Schindel

Starring: Cecilia Roth, Miguel Ángel Solá, Sofía Gala Castiglione

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 99 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

After her son is accused of raping and attempting to murder his ex-wife, a woman is willing to do whatever it takes to stop him going to prison, even if it has disastrous effects on the rest of her life.  At the same time her maid is hiding a dangerous secret, and when it is revealed, further complicates the case for her son’s innocence and makes her question the decisions she made to ensure his safety.

Netflix puts out a bunch of these kinds of crime dramas a month, and throughout lockdown I have seen a few that have been fairly good.  This was not one of them.  It had far too many plot lines going on at once but wasn’t long enough to really be able to flesh any of them out efficiently.  The main synopsis on both IMDB and Netflix highlights the Son’s case as the main synopsis for this film, but watching it, it is Alicia’s relationship with her maid and her maids son that is in the foreground of the film, we spend very little time on the son’s case at all.  If that was the main focus of the synopsis, surely, they should have made it more focal in the actual film no?

The film could have done without the son’s criminal case at all.  In that way we could have focussed on Alicia and Gladys’ story more, had a more in depth and well rounded story and still been able to shed some light on Alicia’s sons questionable behaviour without the entire film supposedly being about him.  Not only is Gladys’ story more interesting, but it is more emotionally impactful.  It deserved the entire 100 minute runtime to itself.

Cecilia Roth plays our main character Alicia and she does a wonderful job.  Her chemistry on screen with the young boy who plays Santi is just a joy to watch.  Every scene they shared pulls on your heartstrings.  But her character comes off as being very naïve.  By the end of the film of course she has come to her sense and is doing everything she can to right the wrongs she committed, but it happens very suddenly and as with most characters in this film actually, at a very convenient moment in the story. 

We don’t really get a satisfactory ending either.  We don’t see the outcome of Gladys’ story, it is implied that we know how Daniel’s story ends, but we don’t really get to see that either.  In crime drama’s like this, the ending s usually the pay off.  We get to see justice done etc.  But that isn’t the case here.  I was almost shocked when the credits started rolling and I was still waiting for things to be wrapped up.

I would recommend you give this one a miss, there are many better crime dramas on Netflix to see.

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