REVIEW: The Trial - Italian Crime Drama FeaturedWritten by Karl Erik Sylthe
Netflix has launched a new Crime series that stands up well above the crowd. This is grounded in a cocktail with many main ingredients.
Not uncommonly the series start with the discovery of the corps of a 17 year old girl. It is found in the river of Mincio, a river that flows from Lago Gardia and extends past the classic town of Mantov where it is locally extended to the lakes Lago Superiore, Lago di Mezzo and Lago Inferiore that were created artificially in the 1100s, before the river narrows again and unites forces with Po before the outlet in the Adriatic.
It is soon established that the last movements of the deceased were during a party around midnight on the Palazzo del Tee, a historic 16th-century palace on the south side of downtown Mantova. This in turn links to one of Mantova's most inffluent families, the Monaco family.
The sequel to the series evolves into a trial lasting all of the episodes, a trial lawsuits in which Linda Monaco is charged with the murder. It develops into a protracted duel between the slightly arrogant lawyer Ruggero Barone and prosecutor Elena Guerra, where the latter eventually has to struggle with a ballast which means she should resign from the beginning of the case because of disqualification.
Such a long series based on a single case can easily become too long. Or it brings in too many new elements to provide ever-renewed topicality to an extent that allows a series to easily balance on the edge of the soap opera. Il Processo steers safely away from both of these pitfalls, and that has to do with the cocktail I mentioned initially, a mix that in short version can be called quality.
A slightly more analytical approach to what the basic elements consist of will reveal that there are many levels. We start with the series providing an in-depth study of the key players, not least actor Elena Guerra, masterfully played by Vittoria Puccini. This gives a high credibility and sights. The initially smooth aspiring star lawyer Barrone also gets a little furrowed in the face as time goes by. And then it is inevitable to bring out the wonderful character Giancarlo Guerra, the actor's father who is a retired judge in classic Italian incarnation.
Another element is that great expertise has been shown in the balancing act that is when the crime drama should have its progression. A balancing act in which the new elements that are brought in must neither be remarkably striking, or provide too static dynamics. This balance is excellently preserved, for example by incorporating natural twists in the social life of the main actors.
And last but not least, it is undeniably an asset that location is in the southeast corner of Lombardy, a short hour's drive south of Verona in a midsize classic city full of classic architecture. And this element is reinforced by the fact that the series is quite true to geographical details, where the Palazzo del Tee, for example, is a highly existing museum.
Even though the series ends with some loose threads, it seems unlikely that there will be a Season 2. The season 1 was far too largely designed around the current role gallery. Apart from that, a Season 2 of the Process would be welcome.
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