A period drama with reflections on today’s society

Atresplayer Premium has established itself as the Atresmedia platform to keep abreast of all its novelties in fiction. The next to see the light is ‘La cocinera de Castamar’, the adaptation of the homonymous novel by Fernando J. Múñiz, which opens on February 21 and is headed by Michelle Jenner and Roberto Enríquez.

Enríquez plays Diego de Castamar, an important duke who sees his life take a tragic turn when his wife, pregnant with his heir, dies in an accident on horseback. After a long period of mourning, the king forces him to return to court life and find a new wifeAn idea that Diego disagrees with, since he has not yet forgotten his wife. This is where Clara Belmonte (Jenner) comes into play, a young woman who suffers from agoraphobia and who comes to Diego’s service as the new cook.

Roberto Enríquez and Michelle Jenner star in ‘La cocinera de Castamar’

Leaving aside the romantic point between its protagonists, which in the first episode is only glimpsed, ‘Castamar’s cook’ introduces plots of all kinds that deal with very interesting topics. So, it is not a typical period series, especially if we talk about racismWell, despite narrating the Madrid of the 18th century, it presents a black character who lives like Diego’s brother, with the same rights as him, something that, at first, may remind us of the presence of black characters in the court of ‘The Bridgertons’.

However, despite the fact that the Duchy of Castamar treats Gabriel equally, not everyone accepts the presence of a black as noble, which generates various tensions that will be present throughout the season. Jumping to the present, we could not say that it has been 100% managed to correct these thoughts, especially when fiction arrives less than a year after the « Black Lives Matter » movement. Continuing with the duke, the representation of the duel appears from the first minutes of the footage and helps to launch questions to the viewer that are very present today, such as when a person is ready to look for love again or if it is healthy to force someone to overcome a death.

A scene for reflection

But probably one of the most controversial topics comes with representation of sexual abuse shown through the characters of María Hervás and Hugo Silva. Enrique de Arcona seeks to manipulate Amelia in order to overthrow the duke, but in the process he takes an interest in Amelia, whom he comes to assault in her room, sexually abusing her. Amelia knows that what they have done to her is totally reprehensible, but at the same time you feel you liked it.

María Hervás is Amelia in ‘The cook of Castamar’

This speech puts on the table a situation that will fill the viewer with discomfort, guided by a game of excitement where Amelia is the victim of this situation of power inflicted on her that makes her feel special for having been chosen in a court full of ladies. However, one would have to wonder why generates this discomfort and if this is really because Hervás and Silva only reflect 300 years ago structures of patriarchal domination still present in the 21st century. This can lead to rejection in the first place, but, before making a decision, it is advisable to reflect on whether society has evolved in all this time.

Step back in duration

For a few years, Atresmedia has been committed to producing fictions whose duration is around 40 minutes, assimilating to the international format. It is because of that It is shocking to discover that the first episode of ‘Castamar’s Cook’ exceeds 60 minutes. It is true that several characters are presented and that many plots are revealed in it, but the passage of minutes takes its toll. The episode is interesting and the evolution of the plots is attractive, but a redistribution, making it easier to maintain the canon of duration, I would have favored him.

Hugo Silva as Enrique de Arcona in ‘La cocinera de Castamar’

Buendía Estudios has been able to select a cast of height for its series, where Michelle Jenner shines, who returns to the era with success. Roberto Enríquez and María Hervás also execute their performances to perfection, especially the latter, which has one of the most complicated plots on top, but who manages to handle it with great success. As for Hugo Silva, although he brings out a certain evil in his character, Enrique de Arcona recalls in some respects Pacino in ‘The Ministry of Time’, so there is no great difference in his work to what has already been seen previously.

‘The cook of Castamar’ is a period proposal that will interest all those fans of the genre, since, in addition, it introduces interesting plots that, despite taking place in the 18th century, are totally topical. In addition, the series It is cared for at the level of sets and costumesespecially in the palace scenes.