The screenwriter Rafael Cobos, co-author of ‘La peste’ or ‘La isla minima’, makes his directorial debut with ‘El Hijo Zurdo’, a series starring María León that will arrive on Movistar Plus+ in 2023
He assured that a literary license had been taken, but there is some truth in the words used yesterday by the co-writer, together with Alberto Rodríguez, of films such as ‘La isla minima’ or the still unpublished ‘Modelo 77’ -it can be seen online first time at the San Sebastian Film Festival- and from series like ‘La peste’ he presented his debut behind the camera: “I’m ‘shit’ and very happy in equal parts,” he said in the Sevillian restaurant where he appeared fiction, provoking laughter from those present.
It is ‘The left-handed son’, an adaptation of the homonymous novel by Rosario Izquierdo, a fiction that Cobos has created and written and that María León will star in the role of Lola. His story is the epicenter of this series that will break down into six half-hour episodes, of which Cobos will direct two and Paco Baños the remaining four. But who is Lola? “Lola represents all those women who, because they are mothers, have been relegated to the front line of society and need to go on a journey of reidentification and disassociate themselves from the care to which they are tied in order to rebuild themselves,” replies the co-author of the libretto for ‘El hombre of a thousand faces’, for which he won the Goya for best adapted screenplay. «From there -he continues- we have a story that talks about motherhood, about the most generous love that exists, which is the love towards a child, and how, through that love, we can love ourselves and relocate ourselves» .
Domingo Corral, head of fiction for Movistar Plus+, where the proposal will be broadcast, conceives ‘The left-handed son’ as the story of a woman “who wants to understand her son, communicate with him, who does not understand the wrong decisions he makes and who try to rescue him from the abyss into which he is falling.
Okay, but we still don’t know what it’s about and a colleague tries to pull the thread. It achieves a kind of synopsis: «The life of Lola, a high-class woman, explodes when she discovers that her son, a teenager on the verge of eighteen, is related to certain criminal behaviors and is in a situation of crisis and helplessness », concedes Cobos. In this process, he meets Maru, played by Tamara Casellas, a woman from a humbler class whose son is going through a very similar circumstance. Then begins a friendship between two women who belong to two different socioeconomic worlds. “In this way, we vindicate the role of these women in the shadows, in crisis and isolated,” says Cobos.
The unknown Hugo Welzel and Germán Rueda give life to these disoriented kids. To find them, the casting agency saw them and wanted them because “they must have very antithetical features.” On the one hand they had to be dangerous and tough; on the other, having “that humanity, sensitivity and disorientation typical of the end of adolescence,” says Cobos.
The screenwriter, linked until now to a film and television based on the thriller and the plot, opts for a project more linked to the characters and for a “smaller and more human” story. The new director likes to say that they are going to make “an emotional thriller”, after all he claims to have applied “the mathematics, logic and mechanisms of the thriller” to the characters and their relationships, “maintaining the tension and balance ». He cannot help, however, feel a little dizzy at his behind-the-scenes debut, even though he says with a laugh that “writing is the hard part.”
“If it goes wrong, shot-reverse shot”
Now, has the filmmaker Alberto Rodríguez given you any advice? «Alberto has told me: ‘If it goes wrong, shot-reverse shot’. That has been his advice, not to lose your temper and to trust the actor and the cinematographer », he explains. «It is true that my weapon is the dramatic action and the word and not the camera, that is where one has more complexes and is more cautious, but I think that if the heart of the story is good one forgives the camera certain things », is sincere who still does not know if he will repeat as director.
Neither will María León have it easy. Lola’s, affirms Cobos, “is one of the richest and most complex characters that I have written and will demonstrate all the wealth of registers that María treasures.” Beside her, the actress is grateful but also cautious. “This character is a gift, but also a challenge. I think I’m going to encounter a lot of difficulties and that I’m going to learn a lot », explains León who, she says, will put all her heart « to tell the entrails of this woman ».
Filming begins this Monday and will last ten weeks and three days. “We will finish at the end of September,” says José Antonio Félez, producer of Atípica Films. In this way, the team, which still remembers the 47 degrees in the shade in the filming of ‘7 virgins’, will spend the whole summer shooting in a contemporary and current Seville, which aims to be one more character in fiction and not It will only stay in the center but will move through neighborhoods such as Polígono de San Pablo, Los Remedios or Nervión. The platform hopes to release it “in the first part of 2023,” says Corral.
One wonders how faithful the series will be to the novel and if the season will close in the same way as the literary work. Cobos’s response is surprising: “To tell you the truth, I don’t remember how the novel ends.” The also winner of a Goya for best original screenplay for ‘The minimal island’ claims to have been faithful to the work “in its heart and in its essence”, but acknowledges that the book is very discursive and reflective and not very narrative “and had to concretize it”. In fact, “I had to compose it by 85 or 90% because there are very few milestones.” As for the ending, he says he is in favor “of ironic endings, containing many questions and opening up possibilities, and this is an open ending, but forceful and satisfying. It generates curiosity, makes you want to continue with the characters, but there is a specific message».
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