Netflix’s Outlaws is a Spanish thriller drama directed by Daniel Monzon with a screenplay from Jorge Guerricaechevarria and Monzon himself. It is based on the book of the same name by author Javier Cercas and is set in 1978 Girona. The film is produced by Mercedes Gamero and stars Marcos Ruiz as Nacho, Begona Vargas as Tere, Chechu Salgado as Zarco, Guillermo Lasheras as Víctor, Pep Tosar as Inspector Vives and several others. The runtime of the film is a little more than two hours with subtitles and audio present both in English and European Spanish.
– Netflix’s Outlaws Review does not contain spoilers –
Outlaws: Another Teenage Boy Saved and Ruined
The film’s protagonist is sixteen year old Ignacio, who is also called Nacho and Gafitas through the course of the film by his family and friends, respectively. We first meet a grown-up Nacho in the waiting hall of prison as he awaits his call to meet a specific prisoner when we are transported back to his teenage years as the flashback story of how he got to where he is, begins.
Bullied as a teenager, Nacho finds his time spent on Arcade games when he across Zarco and Tere for the first time. Visibly older than him, Nacho steadily develops a crush on Tere and gets associated with her group. Reckless and loud, the group which soon includes Nacho are essentially the titular character of the film as they become the ‘outlaws’ of the society due to their activities.
The group engages in smoking marijuana, trying on drugs and conducting burglaries and heists, essentially looting pharmaceutical shops to obtain drugs and sell them illegally. As their friendship grows, so does the frequency of their robberies which leaves a trail of smell that reaches two inspectors who become bent on finding the group. Meanwhile, Tera and Nacho’s love affair deepens and Nacho starts growing distant from his family. Until it all comes to an end.
Outlaws movie focuses on the importance and power of companionship as we get to meet a bullied boy thrown out of his so-called ‘normal’ life because he finds more acceptance and love within a group that engages in morally wrong tasks. Nacho strives to fit hard and by the end of the day, he does not need to when he is with the ‘outlaws’ of the society as they don’t demand anything from him. The film also doubles on a tragedy the group faces and what ultimately happens to them by the end, teaching everyone a lesson of nothing lasts more than a summer of love.
The actors do their part and are compelling, funny and dangerous which is a triple threat hard to achieve. However, the cinematography looks tone-deaf in terms of storytelling, especially the beach scene between Nacho and Zarco towards the end has disturbingly bad use of special effects/camera.
Outlaws: Final Verdict
The film is definitely fast-paced and even though it is two hours long, it is hard to find yourself bored at any point. A good watch, if not excellent, the film is a nice, thrilling watch with enough drama but again, not too much.
You can stream the film Outlaws now on Netflix.