No need to see the end of The Messiah to know that it is one of the best series of the year. But after its seventh and final chapter, that of Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi is consolidated as a major, incontestable and unrepeatable work. With La Mesías Movistar+ is preparing for another glorious awards season: a new Arde Madrid, a new Antiriot. Another fiction that, taking risks, gives the Spanish platform a powerful argument to attract new subscribers. On Movistar+ there are accessible series that demand little from the viewer, but also complex, adult fictions capable of functioning on several levels.
The final section of The Mesías, the episodes in which Carmen Machi or Amaia Romero display their enormous acting talent (Machi’s was well known; we sensed that of the former triumph), develops the most awkward layer of meaning in the series. The reason why, surprisingly (or not), the production has not been the target of really founded criticism from very religious people.
Because, in its third act, The Messiah forces the viewer to surrender to positive religious values: forgiveness, love of neighbor and respect for all ways of life. Calvo and Ambrossi, who very easily (and with all the right in the world) could have signed an anticlerical series, choose to explore a third way. After making us see how fine (what’s more: how discontinuous) it is the line that separates constructive religious experience from perverse fanaticism, The creators of Paquita Salas and Veneno go further and reflect on other ways of relating to the transcendent: denying it, abandoning it, reinventing it, needing it…
We might think that the vast majority of The Messiah’s narrative arcs are satisfactorily closed with episode six. However, it is with the following one that the series completes its somersault, softening the tragedy and, at the same time, offering the viewer a very adult and not at all complacent epilogue. If you ever thought the Javis would opt for one last concession to the healing power of cinema, you were wrong. Nor do they indulge in a celebratory coda (something they did do in Veneno) or a last moment of forced poetry (which is what Isabel Coixet does in her splendid adaptation of Un amor). The series ends, like any complete religion, with a question and an answer.
The Messiah does balances from its first sequence to the last. The dangers he is exposed to are enormous and the way he overcomes them is masterful. The division of each protagonist into several actors works perfectly and the choice of these is perfect. The trio Ana Rujas / Lola Dueñas / Carmen Machi It is as improbable in theory as it is fascinating in practice: they are the same and there are three of them and both things must be clear to the viewer. The same happens with the three Enrics or the three Irenes.