Netflix has just released “Recurrence,” the latest Spanish crime drama directed by Alejandro Montiel. “Recurrence,” the third film in the trilogy following “Perdita” (2018) and “Intuition” (2020), is the story of a retired police officer, Pipa, who wants to leave the world of violence and raise her son peacefully. The spectacular landscapes of northern Argentina and some pretty good camerawork are impressive elements of this movie. But let’s discuss in detail whether the plotline or the other details have fulfilled the requirements of the movie.
Does Pipa Stay Away From Violence?
The story begins with the beautiful landscapes of La Quebrada in northern Argentina, and at that moment, we come across the murder of a young Qulla woman named Samanta (Sami). She was half burnt and brutally killed. While investigating the murder, we get to see the police remove a necklace from the dead woman’s neck. The scene shifts to show some galloping horses, and there we see our protagonist, Pipa, and her son.
“Recurrence” involves a non-chronological way of showing the flashbacks of the young dead Sami. We get to know where she used to work and what happened that night she was killed. We see a rich and aristocratic woman named Mrs. Carreras instructing her maids, and Sami was one of them. We also get to know the other random events of that night when Pipa’s aunt Alicia is introduced to us. Next, the scene changes to Carreras’ house, where we see Mrs. Carreras’ son, Cruz, and her daughter, Mecha. It doesn’t take much time to understand that something very fishy is going on between the siblings. But the major crisis begins when Sami enters Cruz’s room, and he catches her. Next, we see that same night; Pipa is being warned by a watchman named Paredes. He tells her not to go outside because a ferocious animal is roaming the grounds. But Pipa carelessly comes out and sees Sami, who looks like she is running away somewhere. Pipa ignores it and enters the house for the sake of her child’s safety.
After the flashbacks of Sami, we get back to the present situation, where we see Pipa has come to the police station to give her statement for the murder, but there we see another story overlaps. A Qulla woman named Luna comes to the police station to meet her husband, Nahuel, a leader of the commune who was arrested for fighting for their rights and the freedom of their property. An honest and hardworking policeman, Rufino, whom Pipa was talking to, handles Luna carefully.
In the subsequent scenes, it is revealed that the police are trying to cover up the case by characterizing the murder as an accident, and that they’re also charging Sami for stealing Mrs. Carreras’ necklace. But on the other hand, we see Pipa is all set to investigate the murder, and while doing so, she comes across Sami’s best friend Maria, who tells her that the night Sami was murdered, Maria saw her with Cruz at the party. Despite Maria’s warnings to Sami, she didn’t listen to her. Maria showed Pipa the pictures of them, and later she handed Rufino those pictures.
We see some scenes in between where Pipa gets attacked by a hooded thug inside her room, but the brave Pipa strikes him in his leg, and we see the thug run away from her house, stumbling with his leg. Later Pipa talks about the harassment to the commissioner, and from their conversation, we come to know that Pipa was a police officer, but for some haunting past, she gets retired from the violence and wants to live her life peacefully. But it pretty much looks like she again gets entangled with the crime. Although talking to the commissioner does not help her.
In some related scenes, we see the Carreras siblings, Cruz and Mecha, expressing their grief among themselves, and we understand that they are feeling guilty for whatever reason. But later, enraged Pipa barges into the Carreras engagement party uninvited and begins interrogating Cruz, only to be interrupted by Cruz’s mother. Pipa is forced to come back. On the way back, she gets threatened by the police, but that does not stop her from working on it.
In the next scenes, it is revealed that Paredes has actually been working for The Carreras for ages. When Paredes is interrogated by Pipa, he reveals that he caught Sami that night and hid her by covering her face to save her from the police, where Sami lost consciousness. But later, as a terrible result, Paredes was also killed.
The scene shifts to the Qulla community and their present leader, Luna, the wife of Nahuel, coming together to protest against the wrongful arrest of Nahuel. They intercept a police van in which Nahuel is being held, but just in time, Rufino arrives and reassures Luna that Nahuel would be released on time so they can breathe a sigh of relief. But here, a big curtain is revealed, where the real identity of the thug who entered Pipa’s room turns out to be officer Gracia. We finally now understand that all these misdeeds were done by the police to suppress the case of Sami’s murder.
‘Recurrence’ Ending Explained: What Is The Darkest Secret Behind Samanta’s Murder ?
Finally, in the last half of the film, “Recurrence,” we actually get to know what really happened. Sami’s phone has a piece of important evidence that the police are trying to find, and finally, by tracking the GPS, they find out that the phone is now with Pippa’s son Tobi. When the police run after Tobi and his friends, he somehow escapes from the police and reaches Alicia’s house. And here, the real story flashes before our eyes when Alicia catches an accidental video clip on the phone, which is very disgusting to digest. The video shows Cruz and Mecha engaging themselves in intimate sex, which is extremely disgusting. But Cruz’s friend catches them doing it and gets killed by Mecha as a result. Mecha also notices Sami, and she runs away from there, which couldn’t save her till the end.
The police have already arrived at Alicia’s house, but Alicia does not reveal where she has hidden the phone. Therefore, she gets killed by the commissioner. But at last, Pipa sneaks into her aunt’s house and hides Tobi. But to take revenge, she has to kill a vulgar police officer and ends up injuring herself. The injured Pipa then hides in a mine with some guns along with her son and Sami’s phone, though the police catch her. When the injured Pipa asks the commissioner about his corruption and his motive to save the Carreras, he reveals that what he is doing is to save his son, and it doesn’t take much time to understand that he’s talking about Cruz. Pipa tells her son to surrender and throw the phone at the commissioner’s feet, which Tobi does. But when the commissioner went to pick up the phone, Pipa shot him dead. On the other hand, the guilty Cruz ends up killing himself.
Later, we see Rufino submit all the evidence of Sami’s murder, and the property of the Qulla community also gets freed, which leads them to live their lives happily. At the end of “Recurrence,” we see Pipa somehow manage to thrive at the end and live on with her son.
Final words: Why ‘Recurrence’ Doesn’t Work?
At the end of this almost two-hour-long crime thriller, it can be concluded that “Recurrence” doesn’t quite qualify as a crime thriller. The very ineffective plotline, weak screenplay, a poor transition from one scene to another, and repetitive background score will not occupy any place in the audience’s hearts. In great haste, the director forgets to mention all the aspects of the story that could make the presentation captivating. Netflix’s latest movie has become more of a ‘Telenovela’ than a crime thriller, which is very disappointing. Although the camera work is fairly good, it could have been better. Even if you like the work of the actress as Pipa, this story still can not give you a heroic figure as the protagonist. All the rest of the performances are almost weak. Some of the supporting acts are good, but they cannot cover the whole film.
The only positive aspects of the movie are the beautiful scenery of Argentina and the traces of Qulla tribal culture. Still, this movie is not suggestive in any way to even pass the time.
“Recurrence” is a 2022 Argentinian film streaming on Netflix with subtitles.