Movie Rated: 18+ (Language, Sex, Nudity, Suicide)
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Based on the novel of the same name, The Legacy of the Bones, the second part of the Baztan trilogy, follows Amaia Salazar's (Marta Etura) return the Baztán valley to investigate a series of suicides that have an eerie connection with the word ‘Tarttalo’. As she investigates into the suicides and the jarring pattern that connects them, she also has to deal with the presence of her disturbing mother. Amaia has just delivered a baby – a boy – and she’s moved into her grandmother’s house with her husband. The film explores both the motives behind the suicides and their apparent connection with the word Tarttalo and Amaia’s psyche.
Unlike most films that deal with crime and investigation, The Legacy of the Bones doesn’t unfold just as a crime drama as it smartly blends multiple themes - ranging from witchcraft to the evil ideologies into its narrative - and succeeding in the process to deliver solid chills. However, the film’s length and the slow-burning approach it takes to tell its story, might take a toll on the viewer if one isn’t a fan of unhurried storytelling.
It takes some time to warm up to the film and to the world of Amaia Salazar, especially if you haven’t watched The Invisible Guardian. But give it some time and invest yourself in the proceedings, you’ll be rewarded with a solid pay-off. The story goes back and forth in time, revealing crucial details of the crime and how it’s connected to the current scenario. This is another approach that’s quite confusing at times but thankfully makes sense in the end. Even though the story drops plenty of hints throughout, it is not until the end that one can really appreciate the effort of the writing.
With plenty of dips in its narration and often quite slow-paced, the film does tests one’s patience at multiple junctures. However, what makes it tick is its intent to stay original, thus making it a gripping watch on the whole.
Marta Etura as Amaia Salazar is the star of the film. She effortlessly shoulders her character and delivers a very strong but restrained performance. In places that require her character to be vulnerable, she’s so convincing.
Another stellar performance from the film comes from Itziar Aizpuru, who plays a very key role.
Even though it’s part of a trilogy, The Legacy of the Bones works effectively as a standalone film.
The pacing will definitely test one’s ability to invest in the story. If you don’t mind the sluggish narrative, you might enjoy this film more.
Did I like it?
Even there are parts of it that don’t work wholesomely, I gave into the film’s core plot and how it unravels the mystery.