Thursday, July 18, 2013

"The Bridge": an intriguing story ruined by poor casting

"The Bridge" is a new tv series,a powerful story about lost girls of Juarez,American crime,illegals,Mexican cartels and much more.It could be a great tv series if the casting directors Rebecca Mangieri and Wendy Weidman did their job well. Well they didn't and we can watch a fantastic actor like Demian Bichir over-playing everyone in the ludicrously chosen cast.

Every good casting director knows that it is forbidden to put an overwhelming talent with average or awful partners.He can do everything he can but he can't save the show.

His partner,the irritatingly overrated Diane Kruger,is trying to interpret a complex and interestingly written character,a female detective with AS.Mrs Kruger was never up to the great expectations and great chances someone in Hollywood continues to offer her and this project is no exception.She tries,I give her that,she has some not awful moments but she is continuously over her head,skill or talent.She is simply an average girl,decent looking and obviously born under a very lucky star.Every scene she has with Bichir is a carnage,a pitiful demonstration of how a true,effortless talent rules over anything.

The rest of the cast is unfortunately closer to Kruger's tone with the exception of Catalina Sandino Moreno,a very fine actress who is unfortunately lacking challenging roles.

Annabeth Gish,a very pretty actress with long experience in various tv shows, she has nothing interesting to offer but her good looks.

Ted Levine,decent,experienced,boring.Matthew Lillard,completely out of place here,could be interesting but somehow lacks depth for this theme and last but not the least, an absolutely awful episode played by Arturo del Puerto,a gem of role gone ludicrous by predictability and lack of talent.The rest of the cast is not even worth mentioning.

So You have an Oscar nominee,Demian Bichir playing it as it should be done and opposite him everyone else ruining it .It is a betrayal to the kind of story they were supposed to tell and it is offensive to the serious and talented actors in Mexico and USA who could have made a truly great series if someone has given them the chance.

Series casting is one of the toughest jobs in the business.There are so many things to be careful about but there is one simple rule:homogeneous cast.You can have a star,everyone prays for it, but then the rest of the cast,even the smallest roles,need to be chosen accordingly.A good casting director knows it and a good director and producers should know better than to rely on one great actor to pull all the weight.

It's a pity,for Bichir,and much more for the important story and message that this project had a chance to deliver.

And anyone who has seen Sofia Helin in the Swedish original understands even better how tragic was the choice of Diane Kruger.

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