Puzzling Family Mystery
La Misma Sangre, a mystery thriller from Argentina, evokes memories of Japan’s Rashomon and Hollywood’s The Little Foxes, two of my favorite movies. In Rashomon, different people recount their versions of a murder story; and in The Little Foxes, Bette Davis gives a chilling portrayal of a cruel wife, especially in her husband’s death scene. Bringing these two elements into one movie ought to please me. However, La Misma Sangre seems hard to follow despite its compelling theme and plot.
Directed and co-written (with Ana Cohan) by Miguel Cohan, the film stars first-rate actors Oscar Martinez, Diego Velasquez, Dolores Fonzi, and Paulina Garcia. Martinez and Garcia portray a longtime married couple with serious problems they have kept secret from the rest of the family. Elias (Martinez) faces financial ruin but his wife Adriana (Garcia) doesn’t want to help. One fateful night at a family dinner, their son-in-law Santiago (Velasquez) hears them arguing.
Also, that night after everyone except Adriana and Elias leaves, Adriana dies in a tragic kitchen accident. But was it really an accident? Elias’s daughter Carla (Fonzi) -- Santiago’s wife – has no doubts. But Santiago is not so sure. And then their conflict begins.
Later we get another view of the night in question. SPOILER ALERT! Unfortunately, that’s when I was taken out of this film by starting to think about The Little Foxes. (I know it's not fair, but sometimes strange stuff happens to thought processes when you've seen so many movies.)
Blood flows in La Misma Sangre.
Family members get angry.
One man against his wife is first.
Not long after, another burst.
A son-in-law has suspicions.
He pursues the strange conditions.
But daughter the truth fails to see.
Or to believe there’s mystery.
Fine actors bring this tale to life.
But time confusion causes strife.
Different versions of a scene
mix us up about what they mean.
Pace moves too slowly with suspense.
Still, what’s revealed does make some sense.
A puzzling film that’s hard to view
means patience needed to see it through.
There’s a lot going on in this Argentina offering. Jealousy, revenge, marital stress, family heritage, infidelity, violence and search for the truth all vie for our attention. It's important to mention that excellent production values, including the atmospheric cinematography and background score, enhance this tense viewing experience. So if you enjoy working on puzzles, La Misma Sangre (aka Blood Will Tell) might be a must-see.
(Released by Neftlix)
For more information about La Misma Sangre, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.