New to Netflix from today is the Spanish crime drama, Centauro. Directed by Daniel Calparsoro, the movie stars Àlex Monner, Begoña Vargas, and Édgar Vittorino, and follows the story of a young superbike racer, who finds himself out of his depth when he starts working for a criminal organisation.
In the movie, Rafa loves nothing more than to race his motorbike. He dreams of one day becoming a professional in his field, and competes in important superbike contests with the aim of becoming a champion.
But when he’s not working hard on his bike, and not working his day job, Rafa spends time with his son, Mateo. Mateo lives with Rafa’s ex-partner, Natalia, and Rafa sees his son when he can.
But one day, while visiting Mateo, Rafa finds Natalia in a desperate state. She has become involved with drug dealers, and they have beaten and robbed her in front of her son.
Angered and concerned by the situation, Rafa moves Natalia and Mateo to a safe space, then sets out to rectify the problem. He approaches the head of the criminal gang, and offers to make a deal to pay off Natalia’s debt.
An agreement is made, and soon Rafa is working as a courier for the gang. His ‘contract’ is to undertake two months of work, and then Natalia’s debt will be paid in full.
But things are never quite so simple, and soon Rafa finds himself trying to balance every part of his life. Can he maintain his dream of becoming a professional racer while protecting his family, or will he ultimately lose focus and have to give up everything he has worked for?
Simple, gritty, and featuring a solid cast, Centauro is an easy-to-watch, and fairly likeable crime drama. The movie has a straight forward premise, it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, and is filled with just enough action to keep things interesting.
Is it highly original? No – this sort of thing has been done countless times before. But what Centaurolacks in originality, it makes up for with some decent drama and a good central performance.
Leading the movie is Àlex Monner as Rafa. Monner brings strength and determination to the role, playing a character who struggles to follow both his head and his heart.
Throughout the film there becomes a strong desire for Rafa to succeed in all aspects of his life, and this is because Monner nails his part. The actor brings warmth to Rafa, as well as vulnerability, and this makes for compelling viewing.
The film also benefits from good pacing, some decent cinematography, and a couple of well-choreographed action sequences. A good slice of story escalation is also introduced towards the back-end of the film, and this heightens the drama going into the climax.
None of the above is extraordinary stuff, but it all works, and that’s the most important thing. Centaurois confident in what it’s selling, and as crime dramas go, it doesn’t put a foot wrong.
Not amazing, but certainly watchable, Centauro is enjoyable. The film does exactly what it sets out to do, and on this occasion that’s enough.