Hierro Review

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Three years after her son disappeared on the ferry to El Hierro, Maria (Elena Anaya) receives a phonecall informing her that a body has been discovered on the Canary Island...


This Spanish potboiler starts promisingly enough as a kind of Flightplan on a ferry, with Elena Anaya as a mother frantically searching for her missing son en route to the island of El Hierro. Yet, as she returns to the island six months later to identify the body of her dead son, she starts to catch glimpses of her kid and kickstarts an investigation, the plot descending into red herrings, a run-in with a bonkers German teacher, bird symbolism and an over-insistent score. Pop promo director Gabe Ibanez has a strong sense of both landscape and surreal imagery — an opening car crash is startlingly staged — but this is all allied to a story that offers little in the way of surprises or emotional heft.

The convoluted plot and convoluted script drain the drama from a plot that should pack a sizeable emotional heft.