Genre : Mystery; Thriller
Director : Carlos Montero, Roger Gual, Sílvia Quer
Platform : Netflix
The fact that this series came from the one of the creators of Elite, I got instantly intrigued to watch this piece. The series has a murder, elite high school and hidden secrets. But was this Spanish thriller better than Elite? Not necessarily.
When its trailer came out, they particularly added Arón Piper’s face as the thumbnail. The creators tried to market it as something in similar to Elite and attract the fanbase. While it’s a good marketing strategy, they built a false hope, making me saddened that it was nowhere similar to Elite.
The Mess You Leave Behind premise is that it revolves around the life of a teacher Raquel who is a newly appointed literature teacher in one of the elite schools in Spain. Soon, Raquel gets involved in mysterious death of a teacher, who committed suicide, or did she?
The most praiseworthy thing about the series is that, the directors makes you feel the anxiety which Raquel feels when she faces the horrid students or when she is chased by a car or when she faces her worst dreams coming to life. The dreams she dreams are the most unsettling and shocking sequences in the series. Viruca’s (a teacher at the school) character is more of an irritating one whose intentions are way too uncertain. I get the fact that she makes the worst mistakes in her life but what’s not convincing is her motives. In the end we get to know her motives but they are still vague. However, some of Viruca’s scenes with the students are one of the most adorable ones.
In story we get acquainted with just three outrageous students. Knowing that the story much revolves around the teachers’ lives, its fine. But at points these three teens( who look very much adult) have nothing to do other than to create trouble. This makes the screenplay annoying. These three students are given their own separate stories but this is used more like a gimmick than to add some value to the storyline.
In every episode we get some strange occurrences that keeps us captivated. But overall these subplots doesn’t coherently binds the whole story. Some of the subplots by the end turn out to be disappointing and some remain unexplained. Moreover, among these subplots, the main murder seems to take a back seat.
Taking about the explicit content in the series, it is in excess, is unneeded and highly intolerable!
Why Elite stood out was the fact that the stories of different characters seemed independent but towards the end they become intermingled with each other. The Mess You Leave Behind tries to create the similar type of screenplay but doesn’t succeeds. It would have worked if the script writers would have just written a three episode series because the 8 part series with 1 hour runtime is too much for a what The Mess You Leave behind has to offer.
An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.