If you are a fan of mythology and the police procedural genre then ‘Black Spot’ is the right choice for you. It goes beyond all clichés and predictabilities. Well written and meticulously directed with exceptional and unique sound design ‘Black Spot’ is an example that CGI does not always have the upper hand. The story unfolds in a location in Belgium and France adding a more realistic and mystic environment to its ‘slow burn’ narrative. Cold colors provide the setting for doom while metaphors, mist, fog, aerial views, and mythological creatures are part of the chilling plot. ‘Black Spot’ is full of tension, dark and atmospheric.
The soundtrack sets the scene with the unusual choice of a solo banjo that contributes to the obscure environment of the film. It is enhanced by an unusual and rare combination of instruments. As the story progresses the attention draws on the protagonist Laurène Weiss (Suliane Brahim). The single mother’s troubled past unfolds a series of events that disrupt her life unexpectantly. Leading her in hors de combat until the equilibrium is restored. Obstacles challenge the protagonist from attaining her goals as she has to deal with her own demons as well as rebuild her relationship with her rebellious teenage daughter Cora (Camille Aguilar). However, there is someone or something that keeps her sane.
It is important to mention that Brahim does a commendable job in maintaining the female prototype of a Major. She convinces the audience to empathize with her troubled life as a seemingly balanced single mother with an unknown past. Furthermore, Brahim’s role as Laurène Weiss portrays a mentally and physically powerful female as she is fearless and skilled with guns. As well as rebellious and does not take orders from anyone who comes into a conflict with her. Comparatively, Nounours (Hubert Delattre) is the right-hand of Laurène and could easily be the main male and masculine police officer. In contrast, he portrays a much less powerful individual compared to Laurène and breaks the stereotypes of most procedural dramas. No matter the struggles and although Laurène represents a strong female Major, we never see her losing her temperament. This is also the reason we are drawn towards her and question: who is she?
‘Black Spot’ is a skillful piece of filmmaking consisting of outstanding production and performances. It involves powerful and poignant scenes that shape the entire series’ personality and originality. Thierry Poiraud, Mathieu Missoffe, Antonin Martin-Hilbert, Florent Meyer, and Julien Despaux master the fragmented narrative (that has its roots from the French cinema) and the multi-layered script. The non-linear narrative and the overall mise-en-scène demonstrate a truly great and genuine piece of filmmaking. I have never seen such atmospheric color grading and production design in any TV series or film. These components are of an exceptional standard and compromise the idyllic setting which is ideal for the fans of gloom.