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Movie Review: 'Mirage' ('Durante La Tormenta') On Netflix

Mirage Durante La Tormenta Poster David Ortiz รlvaro Morte Inspector Leyra Chino Vera Roy Adriana Ugarte Darรญn รngel Prieto Javier Gutiรฉrrez Netflix
Altered timelines are a robust subgenre at this point. Whether it is "Frequency" in film or "Dark" on television, curious minds have no shortage of options. The thing is, telling such a story can often leave the plot in a narrative loop. "Mirage" (originally titled "Durante la tormenta") is nowhere close to spinning in circles.

The drama opens on a disquieting sequence in the past before shifting gears to the present. That action follows Vera Roy (Adriana Ugarte) -- a mother, wife, and nurse. She and her family have recently moved into a new house.

While unpacking, they find a video recorder, VHS tapes, and an old television. With a cyclical storm brewing, a neighbor and friend's haunting story of his childhood friend's tragic death ways heavy on her as she goes to sleep.

Woken up in the night, she mysteriously sees the tragically-fated boy from 1989 on the TV and warns him to prevent his dire end. When she wakes up, nothing is as it was. Most importantly, it is as if Vera's daughter Gloria never existed. Fans of the genre will quickly figure out why that is, and "Mirage" takes it time as Vera comes to put the pieces together too.

It would be frustrating if it did not fit. Just because the audience knows, does not mean Vera automatically would. It is a flourish that is believable and time that is honestly spent. The human element of this story remains at the fore, as sci-fi proves to be the vehicle.

"Mirage" toys with the plots of its peers while carving something utterly unique out of its oft-visited premise. There are countless curvy twists and no shortage of surprises. Even if you see some of them coming, "Mirage" could have you second guessing them much the way Vera is faced with doubting her truth, early in the movie.

To say that the film is entertaining would be an understatement. "Mirage" is engrossing, pulling viewers into two timelines as it threads together a murder mystery and a "what if" scenario. As it weaves in and out of its various plots, it never grows complacent or boring. "Mirage" is riveting in all the right ways as it leads viewers to a mightily surprising finale.

No matter how many movies you watch in this vein, it can be tough to predict the method and the resolution. With "Mirage," the latter is especially hard to do. It makes you wonder in a way few of its peers have managed, and that is saying something.

Adriana Ugarte's performance as Vera is the movie's not-so-secret weapon. Ugarte is beyond compelling as she portrays Vera's blissful happiness at the beginning. Only to stunningly transition into Vera's horror and devastation at her daughter's existence getting erased.

It is quite a swing and Ugarte grounds it with sincerity. She is the movie's hook, and it utilizes her brilliantly.

Chino Darin also impresses as the detective Vera goes to for help. His scenes with Adriana Ugarte give way to something special and understated.

As Vera learns, to alter the past influences the future in ways, you cannot always predict. "Mirage" captivates with its multiple layers and thoughtful questions. The importance of seeing one version of life unfold tends to feel like the original or real one. What if that is wrong or more complicated? The ending will leave you with lots to consider.

Slickly directed by Oriol Paulo, "Mirage" zeroes in on those questions, as its over 2-hour runtime flies by thanks to excellent pacing. Taking the time to set up its various angles, "Mirage" has an impact that is no illusion. If you are considering a future without watching it, reconsider.

Rating: 8/10

You can currently stream "Mirage" ("Durante la tormenta") on Netflix.

[Feature Image by Warner Bros.]