Historias lamentables is a unique online web series that takes its plot in the form of four short stories. The first part of this webseries, "The Quarry", revolves around a rich but unhappy middle-class woman who owns a hotel. She has a secret admirer who comes to visit her and inadvertently seduces her. Things go from bad to worse as the two are locked in an endless struggle over each other's affection for each other. The second story, "The Missing Man", revolves around the life of a young man who falls out of love with his high school crush.
The most amazing thing about historias lamentables is how it builds up the mystery throughout the entire movie using only occasional flashes of information to give the viewer a glimpse into the past. The first part of the movie explains how the main characters became acquainted while in the hospital, how they became friends and where the idea for the web-series came from. The second part gradually reveals how the four separate stories connect with each other and finally wraps up with the surprising twist at the end. For me, this was the strongest aspect of the movie that kept me engaged until the very end. I especially enjoyed the little background information I was given about each of the four main characters.
In the third part, "Puerta esta lambda", which translates to "pleasant night's sleep" (the most fitting title for this part), we get to find out how Ignacio and Pedro met. We also learn why Ignacio fell in love with Estrella while she was working as a nanny for her uncle. Finally we learn how the two fell in love and how Pedro finally decided to propose to Estrella. I think the relationship between the uncle and niece was one I really didn't care for but it was great to see them finally acknowledged in a romantic light. The final scene of this part of Historias lamentables was amazing because it left me excited for what the final chapter has to bring.
"Historias lamentables" is well worth the time it takes to watch all four episodes, if for nothing else, at least to appreciate the beautiful music done by Jose Montoya. The classical score was used in season 2 of Historias. And although the first episode is excellent and will no doubt leave you eager for more, the same cannot be said for the last few minutes. I can only describe it as a poor attempt at a musical number by some unknown Spanish artist.
Maybe not entirely fitting for a television program made in Spain but still worthy of seeing, "Historias lamentables" has an English version produced by Argentinian director Armindo Lopes de Gracia. What I found interesting about the English version, aside from the obvious translation problems, is that the four-person narration was done by Jose Montoya himself. In a way, he managed to capture the feel of a live play while giving the story a Spanish flavour. In a way, the play was like an expansion of the Historias lamentables themselves, since they were also a story told by four different persons.
I have not forgotten the outstanding music performed by Jose Montoya. It was fitting for a programme that was meant to be a journey into Spanish history. The Historias lamentables was a good watch and it remains one for me today. I always feel fresh while watching it.