Criticism | Desalma – Mysticism and Witchcraft in Globoplay’s New TENSE Horror Series

About two years ago, the Globoplay platform, focused on the domestic productions of Rede Globo and its affiliates, began investing in producing exclusive content for the platform – series, films and specials that would not be not broadcast on an open network, available only in its streaming. In this wave of new investment, the ‘Desalma’ series was announced, which even had an exclusive panel in the last live edition of CCXP, in 2019. Now, almost a year later and with the hype there – after all, the proposal was a series of terror – finally “Desalma” reached the subscribers of Globoplay.

With ten episodes of forty minutes, the plot of “Desalma” sews two stories that took place in an interval of 30 years. In 1988 we have the group of young people Roman Skavronski (Eduardo Borelli), Aleksey (Nicolas Vargas), Melissa (Camila Botelho), Halyna (Anna Melo), Bóris Burko (Lucas Soares) and Ignes (Valentina Ghiorzi), who study together in the small town of Brigida, somewhere between Santa Catarina and Paraná. Brigida saw families descended from Ukrainians and Russians who came to Brazil in the past, but who, even today, retain the characteristics and traditions inherited from this country. Roman dates Halyna, the daughter of the witch The Hague (Cássia Kis), but, out of nowhere, ends up with her, on the eve of the celebration of Ivana Kupala, a mystical feast that refers to the forces of nature. It is that night that Halyna drowns in a lake, and the fate of the city is sealed forever. Thirty years later, Giovana (Maria Ribeiro), widow of Bóris (Ismael Caneppele), moves to Brigida to try to understand what happened to her husband, and with Ignes (Cláudia Abreu) ​​she will discover that the secrets of the past come back and ask for justice.

“Desalma” is a complex and very stimulating series. The whole art direction is extremely fascinating, with undertones of blue and gray giving the series a supernatural feel. The costumes, soundtrack, venues, and artistic production are aligned and manage to transport the viewer to a region of Brazil unknown to many, and we are made to truly believe (or doubt) that the story really takes place in the middle. Brazil.

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The script written by bestselling Ana Paula Maia is full of time-bound back-and-forth, and with so many characters (and young actors not looking so much like their old versions), the viewer finds it difficult to figure out who is who in land. Dialogues also cause weirdness – speeches that would fit very well into a literary text, but that seem unreal when spoken out loud, after all, no one speaks with that cadence and intonation constantly interrupted in daily life. Perhaps in this regard falls a little overly solemn interpretation of the cast, especially the core of the youth of 2018. A little more natural would not miss the mystery of the plot.

Carlos Manga Jr., Pablo Muller and João Paulo Jabur achieve harmonic direction by balancing so many elements of “ Desalma ” without losing focus on what is really the great attraction of the series: mysticism and witchcraft, fear of the unknown, Slavic culture, the slight suspense of a crime committed in the past – elements which are the common thread of the story. In time: the Ivana Kupala evening – which is a true celebration of the Slavic peoples – is the culmination of the series, in episode 4, and the 1988 and 2018 versions shine on the screen like great festivals in their time .

“ Desalma ” is a magnificent and hypnotic series, a series that you cannot let go of because you are completely involved with the characters Halyna and The Hague, with the mystic Brigida and her Ukrainian folklore, with the vastness of the nature of our Brazil and by the history that slowly engages you in your website. Like a very good witch spell.

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