Reasonable Doubt: A Tale of Two Kidnappings, or Duda razonable: Historia de dos secuestros, is a true-crime TV mini-series and consists of 4 episodes, each around 45 – 50 minutes long.
Netflix describes the series as:
A fender bender that turned into a kidnapping case leads documentalist Roberto Hernández to expose the truth behind Mexico’s flawed justice system.
– Reasonable Doubt review does not contain spoilers –
Reasonable Doubt documentary starts off sombre. The series, with only four episodes, tries to tackle the injustices within the Mexican justice system. Thus, when Roberto Hernández talks to the prison inmates and asks them some harrowing questions, the reactions and answers are stunning. Hernández, who is known for his documentary Presumed Guilty, talks to the inmates about their experiences with the Mexican prison and justice system.
Reasonable Doubt’s main positives are its music, the engaging and shocking real stories and the re-enactments which don’t feel like re-enactments. Let’s talk about the stories first. These are real stories by people who have been cheated by the law. Thus, of course, they are hard-hitting, shocking and infuriating. The guilty getting away with doing something bad is terrible enough; the innocent falling prey to society’s unjust ways is probably a few notches worse than that.
The most interesting part of this limited series is that it showcases its storytellers in a setting that is natural for them. So, the prison inmates aren’t in suits sitting in some swanky hotel room – they are in believable situations wearing normal, everyday clothes – it keeps the documentary real and makes it uncomfortably relatable. The way they narrate their stories will give you goosebumps; you will be able to hear the fear and apprehension in their voices.
Next, the re-enactments. More often than not, true crime re-enactments are quite bad. In a way that it’s clear that some actor is playing the role. However, Reasonable Doubt surprisingly doesn’t go down that route. There aren’t any actors, just cars plying and overhead shots of the locations where the stories take place. Everything happens according to the stories being narrated. However, at no point will it seem it’s not a part of the narration. The editing is excellently done and the way the video flows with the audio is noteworthy and keeps you engaged.
Lastly, the music is really nice. It’s apt but muted – thus, it’s there in the background to provide that feeling of eeriness but doesn’t drown out the voices of the inmates. The series also features some chilling real-life footage and pictures that will give you goosebumps. However, an episode later, the scenes featuring the lawyer can get a bit too made up, but well, you win some you lose some.
But, it’s the stories that make Reasonable Doubt series absolutely heart-pounding. It’s shocking to wonder that one fine day you can wake up and be arrested for absolutely nothing. Tortured and humiliated, with no respite in sight, the men’s tales will send shivers down your spine. Will they ever get justice – is a question you keep asking yourself over and over again. How a seemingly normal day can get this bad is something that is hard for anyone to imagine and it actually happening to you in real life is equally, if not more, appalling.
Reasonable Doubt: A Tale of Two Kidnappings tries to make us see the shocking side of police work and the justice system in Mexico. It talks about morality and showcases how brutality has become a part and parcel of the country’s justice system. The police know it and so do everyone else. However, is enough done about it? Not really. Shockingly, some people try to blame the lack of technological advancements for police brutality but framing someone for kidnapping and then torturing them without evidence goes beyond just technological lacking.
Summing up: Reasonable Doubt: A Tale of Two Kidnappings
Reasonable Doubt series is hard-hitting and creeps under your skin when you realise this might as well be you. It’s a story of injustice and immorality, one which will intrigue you and keep you at the edge of your seat throughout the runtime. It’s short enough to be binged, but beware, it’s not about catching serial killers. So, if that’s the kind of true crime you are expecting, then probably skip this one. For others who want to feel some disbelief, definitely check this one out.
Reasonable Doubt: A Tale of Two Kidnappings is streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.