‘Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City‘ is a Spanish murder mystery and a slice of European cinema. It is directed by Daniel Calparsoro and based on a novel by Eva García Sáenz de Urturi.
Detective Unai López de Ayala (Javier Rey) returns to the Ertzaina, the law enforcement agency in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country. He has been absent for an undisclosed time but called back to profile a serial killer who left bodies naked and infected with bees in an old cathedral. His boss Deputy Chief Alba Díaz de Salvatierra (Belén Rueda) takes over the case personally since it was thought the killer had been caught and jailed twenty-years ago. Unai and his partner Estíbaliz Ruiz de Gauna (Aura Garrido) visit the accused man Tasio (Alex Brendemühl), a cult leader who had been convicted of the crime, but he tells them that he is innocent, but this new killer could be one of his followers.
Originally titled ‘El silencio de la ciudad blanca,’ this movie somewhat proves why I do not like modern Europen cinema. It is slow, boring, too long, self-righteous, nihilistic, and anti-Christian to its very core. While the movie presents itself as a thriller in the vein of Kiss The Girls, it also tries to touch on treasure hunting adventures where the detectives look for clues in the imagery presented by the serial killer.
First of all, the dialogue is incredibly forced and cheesy. There is no humor in this film, like none at all, not that there necessarily needs to be, but if there was any, it was so hidden it went right over my head. The conversations between Unai and Alba are particularly cringe-worthy. They go from having some tension to having an affair to being split again all with a bunch of forced conversational dialogue that makes you roll your eyes. This, of course, leaked into the overall acting of the movie. While Rueda puts up the best performance, everyone else just sort of showed up but offered nothing stellar.
As for the plot, it was so twisty and bendy, that you got lost. They would introduce random characters that served no purpose other than to be a MacGuffin for the detectives to go, “AHA” and then they would just vanish into obscurity. They also revealed the antagonist and how he has been staying ahead of the detectives WAY too early. This absorbed all of the intrigue out of the movie and made it seem dull. I think the filmmakers realized this because they tried to do ANOTHER twist, but it was too late. My interest wained.
The themes in the movie do not help it either. They present a very distorted view of the story of Adam and Eve, clearly meant to make the Bible seem outdated and even cruel. However, it was not even convincing. It was forced in the film by one of those random MacGuffin characters who just vanished after they gave their TedTalk. Likewise, the movie presented this dark, nihilistic view that made the story and the world feel empty. Nihilism always makes for poor story-telling unless it is a comedy. The plot has to have some meaning to it so the audience can cheer, but there is nothing. It was an empty space that made the climax feel lackluster.
Bottom line, Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City is a slow, dull piece of modern European cinema that perfectly illustrates why nihilism fails as a theme in a story, especially on such a serious topic like murder. I hope Netflix got their money’s worth.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Disturbing images, Strong foul language, Drug abuse, Sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: As you can see, things have changed since you left.
Check out the trailer below:
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