I can’t help but think that filming The wasp network (Wasp Network), which premieres this June 19 on Netflix, must have been a lot of fun. This film based on real events is set in the nineties (and contains costumes, makeup and hair of the time), has a French director and screenwriter (Olivier Assayas), dialogues in English and Spanish (and a little Russian), it shot between the Canary Islands and Cuba (but it is set between Miami and Cuba) and its cast is made up of a group of interpreters who make it even more international. I imagine the Spanish Penélope Cruz, the Venezuelan Edgar Ramírez, the Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal, the Brazilian Wagner Moura, the Cuban-Spanish Ana de Armas or the Argentine Leonardo Sbaraglia exchanging comments between shots on how to say a certain phrase with a Cuban accent.
The interpretive lesson of this choral cast is one of the biggest attractions of Wasp Network. Cruz stands out in its own light. The Madrilenian plays Olga in the film: a mother, wife and worker in a tannery in Havana who is left without a husband overnight. Ramírez, whom we could already see working alongside Cruz in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni VersaceIt is René, said husband and a pilot who escapes to Miami. The film shows us the case of René and other Cuban deserters who infiltrated American society but were actually part of a pro-Castro espionage network and who wanted to avoid terrorist attacks on Cuban soil.
There are many topics that he tries to expose The wasp network. The consequences of the embargo imposed by the United States on the island, the difficulty Cubans have in obtaining documentation and permits to go abroad, the importance of the Cuban-American community in Miami, the connection that this community feels with the island and its inhabitants , the geographical proximity between Cuba and Miami. In addition to trying to give us a history lesson on the nineties and the Cuban-American conflict.
There are so many stories and characters that Assayas tries to show us in Wasp Network in just two hours long the film abounds with temporal ellipsis and the years are condensed. The plot is difficult to follow at times and some characters don’t get all the attention and screen time they deserve. Do not misunderstand. I’m not saying that this should be a longer movie. I am a big believer in 90 minute movies, 120 max. I just think that Wasp Network It is another example of something that would have worked much better in the form of a miniseries.
The film also wants to establish a certain parallelism between the story of two abandoned women, each one in one of the two geographical centers of this story. And it points to the similarities between two female characters whose husbands do not allow them to finish knowing them completely. But only one of those women, Olga, gets all the attention from the script and direction the character needs. One more example of the irregularity of Wasp Network.
The wasp network It debuted at the Venice Film Festival in September last year and its director has explained that he had trouble getting funding for this project. Netflix acquired its distribution rights in January of this year in a new sample due to the growing interest of the digital content giant in having a greater number of cinematographic proposals for home consumption. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Netflix had gotten involved in this project earlier.