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Is The Silence of the Marsh Based on a Novel?

April 22, 2020
4 min read

The Silence of the Marsh‘ (‘El silencio del pantano’ in Spanish) is Netflix’s new addition to the crime thriller genre. The film revolves around a crime writer, who blurs the lines between fiction and reality every time he starts writing a novel. For his new book, he plans to abduct an Economics Professor which, in turn, leads to heavy chaos amongst the leading power-bearers of the city. Despite its short runtime, the film narrative is riddled with several different notions, some of which, even allude to real life. So in case, you’ve been wondering about its real-life inspirations, read on further to get all your answers.

Is ‘The Silence of the Marsh’ Based on a True Story?

‘The Silence of the Mash’ is not based on a true story. It is, instead, an adaptation of a fiction crime-thriller novel written by Juanjo Braulio. Apart from the intriguing cat-and-mouse chase that it depicts, the film also has political undertones that allude to the current state of several societies. In the opening scenes, the main character, Q, who is also its narrator, describes how the port city of Valencia was founded on a swamp. The murky waters surrounding it may appear beautiful to the uninitiated, but once inside it, the contaminated soils of the region become more clear. The rich, who are referred to as “the reeds,” are the ones who grow strong with only the water that surrounds them, while the others are just controlled by them.

This entire narrative piece not only describes the movie’s fictional world but also mirrors the society in many ways. In an interview, the director of the film, March Vigil, also explains how the movie’s core message lies in our own defective perception of the world. “We are very outraged hearing the news about corruption and lies, but deep down, we rarely look in the mirror and I think that evil is in all areas. It is very easy to criticize, but It would be better to make a reflection. That is what happens in the movie, that you realize that everyone is bad,” he said.

In another interview, Marc Vigil also explained how the film is not exactly a depiction of political corruption. In his words, it “addresses the power from all points of view.” What it tries to portray is the contamination of our souls because of how we refuse to defy all the moral corruption surrounding us.

If you’ve already seen the movie, you’ll know how the main character of the film gets two parallel endings. One allows you to empathize with him and makes you realize that underneath his brash psychotic demeanor, he, too, is human. Contrasting this is the other final ending which reveals that he is, indeed, a psychopath who feels no remorse towards the people he has killed. With the two polar conclusions, Marc Vigil intends to portray that most viewers try to empathize with the characters that they see in movies. However, in real-life, characters, or let’s say people in general, become mere projections of the world around them.

Nacho Fresneda plays the role of a gruesome thug named Falconetti, who listens to no one but his boss La Puri. La Puri is a woman with a troubled past who runs the entire underworld of the city from her kitchen and even the deadliest criminals of the city bow down to her. La Puri’s is probably inspired by La Paca, a 64-year-old Spanish drug lord known to be the matriarch of a huge Romani drug clan, who even spent several years in prison in Mallorca.

Read More: The Silence of the Marsh Ending, Explained 

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