While we all are waiting for the final season of La Casa de Papel aka Money Heist, creator Álex Pina has dropped a new Spanish series on Netflix called Sky Rojo. Last year, he gave the audience White Lines in which a sister is out to find out what led to her brother’s death. Keeping the thriller and darkness in the latest one too, this time Pina talks about the ugliness of human trafficking.
Sky Rojo stars Verónica Sánchez, Lali Espósito, Yany Prado, Asier Etxeandia, Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Enric Auquer. Along with Álex Pina, Esther Martínez Lobat is also the creator of the show and one of the writers. The series has 8 episodes which are directed by Jesús Colmenar, Óscar Pedraza, David Victori, Albert Pintó, Javier Quintas and Eduardo Chapero-Jackson; in no particular order.
To put it plainly in one sentence, Sky Rojo is about 3 sex workers namely Coral (Verónica Sánchez), Wendy (Lali Espósito) and Gina (Yany Prado) who are on the run after they severely attack their pimp Romeo (Asier Etxeandia). Usually, we expect the first episode of any series to go slow and set a build-up about the story. But in this Spanish drama, the first episode gives you a lot of information already.
When Romeo’s wife passes away, he gives a day off to all the women who he has forced to be sex workers in his Las Novias Club in Tenerife. However, when he sees that no one from their residential area visits his wife’s funeral, Romeo decides to go to the club to cheer himself up. He tries to force himself of Coral because he is low and wants some ‘affection’. But Coral pushes him away.
He then enters Gina in the room who returns some money to Romeo and asks permission to leave. However, Romeo, who now shows his ruthless side, tells Gina that she owes him more money for all the condoms, clothes and other stuff she has used while working as a sex worker for him. Gina then realises that she’s trapped and Romeo will never let her get out of this shitty life. She attempts to attack him but he attacks her with a pencil.
Listening to the commotion inside the cabin, Coral and Wendy come running to help Gina. That’s when they hit Romeo badly on his head. The three women assume that he’s dead and take a car and flee from the club. However, when Romeo’s henchmen Moisés (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and Christian (Enric Auquer) learn of the situation, the situation gets worse for them.
Will Carol, Wendy and Gina be able to free themselves from the nightmarish lives they have been living for months or years? Will they get the freedom they really want? Sky Rojo has portrayed all of this but with the brutal reality that goes around all over the world.
As per the facts, when it comes to human trafficking, at least 71% of enslaved people are women and girls, and 29% account for men and boys. In Sky Rojo, we get to see the background stories of Carol, Wendy and Gina and how they were forced into this nasty business and treated as if they are not human at all. When we get to see the flashbacks of how the pervert, ugly and cheap men force them to do mortifying activities, it breaks your heart.
When the girls are on the run, they visit a surgeon who is one of the regular clients at the club for some medical emergency. During their second visit, the girls are terrified and Coral narrates how she was thrown into this slavery business. On hearing this, the man says that he had no idea that they were forced into this. That’s when Wendy and Gina ask him questions like ‘Do you think we like men peeing on us?’ ‘Do you think we like being humiliated and having creepy men put cocaine in our vagina?’
On listening to this, the man’s face turns pale as if he’s witnessing something hideous happening. The scene is painful but it’s a harsh reality we all are living in. Unfortunately, everyone knows human trafficking still happens and yet, no country in the world has succeeded in bringing a full stop to it. What’s worse is some parents willingly selling their daughters in exchange for money!
But Sky Rojo isn’t without any flaws. The writers have also focused on showing us the backstories of Romeo, Moisés and Christian. In an interview, Esther Martínez Lobato said that they showed their past to explain the evil inside them. Well, I personally believe that no matter how terrible your past has been, it doesn’t give you the right to exploit others in such a disgraceful manner. It irked me to see the writers showing us the troubled past of these men.
Sadly, this is a huge error to be ignored. Otherwise, Sky Rojo would’ve been a hard-hitting show depicting the horrifying reality of women in every part of the world. I would rather know more about the three girls, their past and their efforts to free the others who are still trapped in the torture club.
Sky Rojo: Is it worth it?
Overall, Sky Rojo is showing what we know, but it is not at all subtle. There’s nudity, there are sexual and physical abuse and scenes that will make you miserably numb. If this isn’t the dark content you are willing to watch, you can skip it for now. But watch it to see the grave reality we all are living in. It makes you feel helpless though. You can skip ahead from the part where the writers tell us the story of these horrible men.
Sky Rojo is currently streaming on Netflix.
For more such reviews, click here.