Netflix has been betting on production in many countries for a long time. In Spain it has already released a good number of films and series, but until now it had not yet tried it in the Icelandic market. That has changed with the premiere on June 17 ‘Boiler’, a mystery series created by Baltasar Kormákur (‘Everest’) and Sigurjón Kjartansson.
‘Katla’ tells the story of a town located near the volcano that gives the series its title, which erupted a year ago, prompting most of its inhabitants to leave the area. The sudden appearance of a long-missing woman covered in ash is the start of a wave of comebacks that no one is able to explain. The series itself takes it quite calmly before starting to clarify what happened, trusting by the way too much in the cliffhangers to motivate the viewer to continue watching episodes.
Calmly, maybe too much
From the beginning of ‘Katla’ conveys a certain sense of duel, of stuck people who have not really been able to get on with their lives and have become nothing short of trapped there. Do not take this as something literal in plan ‘The exterminating angel’, but as a basis to understand its protagonists, since we are facing a series that above all is a psychological drama.
That leads to ‘Katla’ focusing primarily on how those reappearances affect the lives of loved ones, since one would think that joy would be the most common, but it is not the case, especially when the mystery increases when there are literally impossible returns that enhance that science-fiction side of the series that is surely what most attracts some viewers.
Of course, the scriptwriters of ‘Katla’ they develop that aspect very slowly, concentrating the great revelations at the end of each episode both to expand the universe posed and to arouse the viewer’s curiosity about what will happen next. A bit like effects shots that, as the episodes go by, one is clear that they will not develop with great agility.
Lights and shadows of ‘Katla’
The bet on the charactersExploring their pain and reactions to the new reality they face, it even sounds exhilarating on paper, but there the Netflix series takes time to really connect with the public. Too many minutes without really caring what happens to them, but it is fair to recognize that it is gradually growing until it exhibits its best level when it is time to close those emotional arcs. There the series does reach that dramatic hardness that it craves.
That parsimony that ‘Katla’ exhibits at all times helps those scenes as climaxes of the last episodes to be satisfactory. One even almost forgets that the series has abused the viewer’s patience a bit, being consistent at all times in its bet but without reaching that goal. human dimension key for the contrast effect to take effect satisfactorily.
I am aware that apparent initial dryness It is still a projection of the pain of its protagonists and that ‘Katla’ grows as they learn to deal with it themselves, but it is inevitable that some frustration arises due to the languor that it transmits.
There I remain the question of to what extent it is due to the drawing of the characters or the approach given to all the interpretations, but both end up progressing clearly. Perhaps the series delights a little more in that rarefied atmosphere that is breathed in the area instead of opting for a more lively plot progression?
Now the doubt it remains in whether ‘Katla’ will stay in a single season or if she will continue forward, since we have some answers, but the way is still open to continue exploring that fantastic element with more force. However, in the first and perhaps only season it was not what really interested those responsible and a second would force to make important changes in the series if they do not want it to fall apart …
‘Katla’ is not one of those series that creates the need to see it as soon as possible beyond its tendency to surprises at the end of the episode and the truth is that it gives the feeling that it could have compressed everything into fewer chapters, but It is also a work that awakens a certain curiosity from the beginning and little by little the universe of its own that it raises is expanding to become more and more interesting.