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I Know Who You Are Season 1 [DVD]
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From his ripped clothes and blood-battered face it is clear that he has been in some sort of accident, but he can t remember who he is or how he got there...
His name is Juan Elias, a married father of two children and a successful criminal lawyer with aspirations of becoming Dean of the University. But when the police find the wreck of Elias car, they also find the mobile phone of his 23 year old niece, Ana Saura, who disappeared on the night of the accident.
All the evidence points to the fact that Elias killed her. Now he will have to find a way to prove his innocence, even though he himself is unsure of whether or not he s innocent or guilty.
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It is good. It does grip. But each episode is at least 75 minutes long. It's simply too much and draws it out far too protractedly. And there's about 8 hours still to come!
Basic premise is that uncle is with niece in car accident. She disappears. He loses his memory. She's been running his campaign to be vice Chancellor of the university where he lectures and she studies. But the campaign is against her father, his brother in law. It twists and turns beyond that with a lawyer involved having been a previous lover of the uncle. And there are strong roles for the latter's wife and young daughter plus the chief of police. Basically it's about where is the girl, has he really lost his memory or is it cover.
The intriguing back stories that develop, with a bit more revealed each episode, will draw you in. But there are quite a few 'is there really so long to go' moments. Episode ten has just finished with a cliff hanger moment and a death that made me wonder how another 8 hours could really be possible before denouement. Still, I'll probably tune in.
“I Know Who You Are” is a contemporary drama, a crime drama, a legal drama, and a mystery thriller, set in Barcelona. Here is some basic information about it:
** Created and written by Pau Freixas
** Directed by Pau Freixas, Joaquin Llamas, Jorge Coira & Silvia Quer
** Soundtrack: Spanish
** Subtitles: English
** Number of episodes: see below
** Run time: each episode runs for more than one hour (65, 70 or 75 minutes)
The cast, which can be divided into three groups, includes the following:
THE FIRST FAMILY
** Francesc Garrido as Juan Elias – married to Alicia - a lawyer
** Blanca Portillo as Alicia Castro – married to Juan - a judge
** Alex Monner as Pol Elias Castro – their son
** Noa Fontanals as Julieta Elias Castro – their daughter
THE SECOND FAMILY
** Nancho Novo as Ramon Saura – married to Silvia – father of Ana - vice-chancellor at the local university
** Mar Sodupe as Silvia Castro – married to Ramon - Alicia’s sister – mother of Marc
** Susana Abaitua as Ana Saura – Ramon’s daughter
** Martino Rivas as Marc Castro – Silvia’s son
** Aida Folch as Eva Duran – a lawyer
** Carles Francino as David Vila – a lawyer
** Eva Santolaria as Marta Hess – a lawyer
** Pepon Nieto as Giralt – a police officer
How many episodes are there? This question has caused much confusion and many additional questions. Here are the facts: there are 16 episodes. All 16 episodes were shown on Spanish television in one round. But when the series was shown on British television, there was an odd change: the BBC showed only the first 10 episodes and released them on DVD as “season one.”
This caused much confusion. Some people claimed the BBC had edited the original 16 episodes down to 10 episodes. This is nonsense. The BBC did not edit this series in any way. The BBC merely added English subtitles to the Spanish soundtrack. The BBC has since explained that the remaining six episodes will be shown later in 2017. I assume they will be released on DVD as “season two.”
As stated above, this series is a contemporary drama, i.e. a fictional story set in a contemporary context. In this case the context is Barcelona in the present time. Some aspects are realistic – or at least meant to be realistic – but not everything is realistic. Sometimes we have to suspend our feeling of realism, because this is a crime drama, a legal drama, and a mystery thriller. Obviously, I cannot go into details.
I do not wish to spoil the viewing for anyone. Therefore I am not going to reveal too much about what happens in this drama. I will merely tell you how the story begins:
A man enters a gas station. His face is bloody and his clothes are torn. He claims he does not know who he is or what happened to him. He is taken to a hospital. Soon, his identity is established: his wife Alicia has reported him missing. She comes to the hospital and identifies him. It turns out that he is married and that he has two children. Alicia is a judge, while he himself is a lawyer. His name is Juan Elias.
What happened to him? The police discover that he was in a car crash the night before. The police also discover that Juan’s niece Ana Saura is missing. Her phone is found in his car and there are traces of her blood on the car seat. Where is Ana? She is missing. Soon the police suspect that Juan is responsible for this. They think he killed her and buried her somewhere.
He claims he has amnesia. He does not remember anything. Is it true? Or is it merely a convenient excuse for evading inconvenient questions from the police?
This is how the story begins and this is where my presentation ends. If you wish to find out more about Juan Elias and the people around him, you will to watch the drama all the way to the end. If you are watching the BBC version with English subtitles, you can only watch what the BBC calls “season one” - the first 10 episodes.
There is indeed some kind of conclusion when we get to the end of episode 10. But this is only true for the main plot. There are also several sub-plots on the side-lines and they are not concluded when we get to the end of episode 10. Presumably, the sub-plots will be resolved when we can watch the last six episodes, which should be available from the BBC before long.
What do reviewers say about this drama? On IMDb it has a rating of 67 per cent, which corresponds to 3.4 stars on Amazon. If you ask me, this average rating is too low. Why?
The script is well-written and the actors play their roles well. The story is captivating, dramatic and often highly emotional. “I Know Who You Are” is a high-quality drama. But I cannot to go all the way to the top with this product, because the BBC has only released two thirds of the whole story. I have to remove one star because of this flaw. Therefore I think it deserves a rating of four stars.
PS. If you like “I Know Who You Are,” you may also like El tiempo entre costuras (The Time in Between), a historical drama in 17 parts that was shown on Spanish television (Antena 3) a few years ago (2013-2014). It is available on DVD (with Spanish subtitles).
Francesc Garrido (Juan Elias) and Blanca Portillo (Alicia Castro) deserve a special praise for their brilliant performances as the two main characters, providing this story with an added value which would have not been accomplished by the rest of the cast. It’s the first TV series made in Spain that I followed and hopefully won’t be the last.
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