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Is Locked Up a True Story?

July 30, 2020
3 min read

When it comes to strong female-centric stories, one of the best bets is to go for an all-women prison-based series. Be it ‘Orange Is the New Black’ or ‘Wentworth’, these shows revolve around a bunch of hardened women who will do anything to survive. One such addition to the list is ‘Locked Up’ or ‘Vis A Vis’, the Spanish drama, that features an ensemble all-female cast. With an addictive script that keeps you engaged until the end, ‘Locked Up’ keeps you on your toes.

A naive girl named Macarena Ferreiro is convicted for money laundering and imprisoned in a high-security Spanish jail. Here, she meets Zulema Zahir, someone who does not seem to know what emotions or friendships mean. Zulema’s main intention is survival and subsequent freedom. Eventually, the two women develop a love-hate relationship, with Maca getting influenced by Zule’s don’t-give-a-s*** attitude. In the show’s subsequent spinoff, we see how the duo finally escapes from prison and continues to lead their lives as hardened criminals. The twisted storyline of ‘Locked Up’ makes us wonder if it is somehow based on a true story. Well, let’s find out.

Is Locked Up Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Locked Up’ is not based on a true story. It is completely fictional. It is also not inspired by any true events. In fact, Spain does not even have a private prison as showcased in the show. Maggie Civantos, who plays the role of Macarena, clarified the same during an interview with Channel 4 (where the series airs in the UK). She said: “There are no private prisons in Spain, like the one in the show. The plot is not based on real events. Both the prison and the whole penal system are completely fictional. The relationships between the inmates are very real, though. Then, I have worked with my imagination and with the scripts, which were terrific.”

Although ‘Locked Up’ remains firmly grounded to the thriller genre, it does take inspiration from the appalling conditions of prisons — not only in Spain but around the world as a whole. The story is inspired by personal relationships that are a staple in a closed environment, which makes the bonds so intense. Again, when you look at the development of the characters, you can relate it to that of criminals in real prisons. For instance, once one leaves the bounds of jails, nothing is easy. You are not accepted in the society like regular individuals. And this is exactly what happens in ‘Locked Up’. Following Zulema and Macarena’s escape, they are forced to lead a life as hardened criminals.

In spite of ‘Locked Up’ not being a real-life-inspired tale, there is a lot in the show to keep you glued. The performances, the characters, and the backdrops make you believe that what you are watching is taking place in real-time. Trust us, once you start this series, there’s no pausing!

Read More: Locked Up Filming Locations

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