Verónica is a 2017 Mexican psychological thriller directed by Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran from a screenplay by Carlos Algara and Tomas Nepomuceno. It stars Olga Segura, Sofía Garza and Arcelia Ramírez.
This film should not be confused with Paco Plaza’s Spanish film of the same name.
A reclusive female psychologist who has stopped practicing medicine, decides against her better judgment to take the case of disturbed Verónica de la Serna, a young woman whose previous therapist has mysteriously disappeared.
As a condition of their cure agreement, the intrigued psychologist requires Verónica to stay with her in her remote country house for the duration of the treatment. However, Verónica proves to be a stubborn patient trying to outsmart her doctor every chance she gets…
Reviews [may include spoilers]:
“The helmers build the intense atmosphere gradually and when things get erotic it makes sense rather than feeling exploitative. “Chaos makes for better honey,” Verónica remarks as she describes the habits of insects in a sequence so sweltering you could probably fry an egg on it. The filmmakers keep the visual trickery to a minimum, letting the action do the talking, but there’s one extended take that delivers in spades on the “weird yet sexy” front.” Steve Palace, The Hollywood News
” …a beautifully shot, delicately acted two-hander, as well as a quite literally psychological thriller, as Verónica’s treatment, indeed, her very identity, come to be dominated by transference, projection and rôle play, and the question of what she is keeping buried inside becomes ever more urgent and menacing.” Jonathan Hatfull, SciFi Now
” …this has a few tricks up its sleeve – some fairly guessable, others out of left field – and has a lush look and solid performances going for it, though it’s rather a basic, shallow psycho-drama. The clash of wills eventually turns into an ethics-breaching lesbian affair, though there’s a lot of talk about masturbation and child abuse to give pointers to carefully-timed revelations about what’s going on here and the murky backstory involving Veronica’s mother (Sofia Garza) and her mushroom recipes.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“It is a tense game of (very tightly scripted) words, and much as the loving Psychologist has an eye condition that makes any change in light painful to her, the elegant, sinuous, (mostly) monochrome cinematography leaves us too feeling that we are not getting the complete picture, and uncertain, as we sit in our own chairs in the dark, whether we are the analyst or the analysed.” Anton Bitel, Sight & Sound
Verónica de la Serna: “We all hide things, even from ourselves.”
Verónica de la Serna: “Just because you close your eyes it doesn’t mean the world ceases to exist.”
Arteaga, Coahuila, Mexico
Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico
Running time and aspect ratio:
81 minutes | 2.35: 1
The original title was Expiación [“Atonement”]