The turtle maneuver. Review

Photographs of the article: (c) Mariola DCA.

It has just been released adaptation to the big screen from the novel of Benito Olmo, The turtle maneuver, and I was lucky enough to attend the preview on Thursday 12 in a pass with the presence of the author. Olmo's reader, I devoured in a week his two novels, this one and The Sunflower Tragedy, starring the inspector Manuel Bianquette. So when I found out they were going to make the movie I was very happy, but I was also apprehensive considering how they spend it on film with most literary adaptations. Fortunately this time they have succeeded. I tell it.

The turtle maneuver – novel

The novel by the writer from Cádiz, now based in Madrid, is a black title to use, with the clichés that all the most classic fans of the genre appreciate yes or yes.

I always talk about the 3 C's: crime, case and charisma of the protagonist which, if possible, also meets the canonical requirements of being of fair words but resounding acts, go about your business, be very crushed and, as a purely personal hobby, big and strong physique, especially if it is intended and described in this way by the author. So that Manuel Bianquette, who is one of those huge wild animals with a heart just as big, an outcast shattered by tragedy and with more than one drink of alcohol, I could only touch the deep fiber.

To make matters worse, the setting for their stories has the sky of Cadiz, which means summer vacations in my earliest childhood and a certain season, short but intense and much later, in which I touched its port on a couple of voyages as a cruise stewardess. But the Cádiz of Benito Olmo's novel is anything but idyllic, a more than dark reflection of today's society in which the inequality, racism, violence and the rot and corruption morals in all areas. However, these are still universal elements in all societies.

Therefore, the solvency in the description of environments, the story, characters and way of narrating Olmo determined my hook without remedy and elevated Manuel Bianquetti to my altar of protagonists (where there are very few) who steal my heart, not only literary, for centuries of the centuries

Last year we signed the Pact for Gender Equality in Colombia, an agreement that symbolizes the co-responsibility of around XNUMX organizations with the implementation of actions that contribute to reducing inequalities. I interviewed Benito too I talked with him and I took the opportunity to express my admiration for his good work. Now too I have been able to exchange impressions with him personally, that the coincidence in the subway, in the same car and at the same time now on the way to the preview of the film and in a city like Madrid has its point of fiction too. The best is that I was very satisfied of what they have done with their creature in the cinema, even if it is retouched by the usual licenses that are taken for the big screen.

For those of us who have read the novel, I think that also and surely (and every self-respecting author would like it) the film manages to attract more new readers who want to know better or more deeply the history and original characters. I, at least, am also satisfied with what I have seen because maintains the literary essence.

The Turtle Maneuver – movie

Directed by Juan Miguel del Castillo and starring Natalie de Molina y Fred Tatian, plus an excellent secondary school, carries the touch of social denunciation and remove consciences which is the director's own. But for those of us who are not much into cinema with a message, the film achieves a good balance between that underlying claim and the dirtiest, blackest, most violent and most tragic environment that wraps the story, centered on the two protagonists.

no concessions and I'm not cheating either because, being a reader of the novel or not, you intuit everything, even the end. That is the detail that, if the author had not told me that it was his first ending but that it ended up changing, would have impacted me more or would have also justified that tone more. allegation on the scourge of sexist violence. But sincerely, I keep the total more than the part, that is, I prefer the relationships between characters, with the aching souls shared by the protagonists, with your losses, and, in the case of Cristina, the nurse harassed by her ex-partner, her terrible acceptance of a fate that, I insist, was the original thought by the author and that suited the director perfectly for his cause.

I also stay with the choice of silence that predominates in the film. With hardly any music in very few passages, it is decided that this silence also reflects anguish, fear and pain, supported by the magnificent expressiveness of the two main actors.


Thus, Natalia de Molina moves with her portrait of Cristina. Few times has the atrocious fear and the most suffocating impotence been shown so well. The literary character, at least in my memory, did not seem so frightened to me but stronger and more fighting, but the cinematographic one does not distort it at all.

But in my opinion the roundest hit is to have found Fred Tatian, an unknown actor and, therefore, without being able to associate him with anything, to give Manuel Bianquetti flesh and bones, because they are exactly the literary ones.

Bianquetti is a mole full of rage and deep pain due to the dramatic loss of a daughter, for which he has also lost his wife and another small daughter, he has gotten into a lot of trouble, has fallen out of favor at his job in Madrid and has ended up exiled in a hole in the basement of the Cádiz police. There he leads a solitary existence dragging guilt and sorrow and separated from everyone and for everyone. but there is a desire to justice and redemption regardless of the consequences, and to assume that pain once and for all.

The difference with the literary Bianquetti is only for the accent, since he has Italian origins, and in the film they take advantage of Tatien's nationality to amplify those origins. If that is added to that physical awesome and what not many actors do really effectively, which is transmit emotions only with the look or the presence, its interpretation is impressive.

So that the relationship between them is also marked by that contrast between physicists, the emotional fragility they share and the strength and protection that she needs and his need to make amends for guilt and failures of the justice system that allows so much injustice.


But we must highlight the entire cast like the Latino actors who play the family of the young murdered victim, or the other victims, like Gerard de PabloSW louis vines.

Separate mention has Mona Martinez like Bianquetti's partner in that basement and that in the literary original is a partner. Martinez fits perfectly of that masculine Morgado. And yes, Benito was right when she commented on it at the end of the film: she is great for her good construction work and replicas of Bianquetti's character. All the scenes they share are the best, with that bittersweet counterpoint for the characters of both. Moreover, one can almost say that it even improves the literary with that cinematic sex change that they have given you.


That everything works: the recreation of the most murky and dangerous environments, with its crudeness and harshness, or violence without half measures or mercy. It is that darkness that stands out and permeates the entire film and that is what is important, because it is the essence of the novel..

So, highly recommended for readers of the pair of Bianquetti novels. I'm already waiting for the adaptation of the second one. And of course the third title, which I know first hand is already half ready. And for non-readers because it is worth discovering the literary series if you have been told so well this first story in the cinema.

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