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Kate del Castillo’s performance in “La Reina del Sur” is simply great

By Nina Steele 

Kate del CastilloWhenever I am on the hunt for a new series to watch on Netflix, the second thing I do after reading the synopsis, is check how many episodes there are. Up until the coronavirus hit, anything above 12-15 episodes per season, was a no-no. I just couldn’t be bothered. However, ever since most of us have been stuck at home because of coronavirus, those long series have attracted my attention, which is how I ended up watching “La Reina del Sur”.

At the time of writing, “La Reina del Sur” had a rating of 8.1 on Internet Movie Database. And it deserves it. Let’s make it clear from the outset that the storyline has a lot of violence in it. It is a rags to riches story, with Kate del Castillo as the central character. We watch her character grow in stature, from first being dismissed as simply the girlfriend of a dead drug dealer, to becoming the most powerful drug trafficker in the south of Spain.

It is as well that this is not real life. Because, no matter how much you root for Teresa Mendoza (the name of the character Kate del Castillo plays), the truth remains that she is a drug trafficker with all the violence and deaths that come with that.

What makes her character likable, for me at least, is her courage and determination to succeed. In a world where men are expected to reign supreme, she manages to earn the respect of even her greatest foes.

Her personal tragedies are another of the show’s appeal. After losing two lovers in violent circumstances, you wonder how much more emotional pain she can take. And then, there is her rather complicated relationship with her mentor Oleg Yasikov (played by Alberto Jiménez). A ruthless drug lord who feels deep love for her. She does love him back, but both are mature enough to understand that the deep bond they share may not survive the complications of a sexual relationship. Put simply, they are great business partners, and that partnership may be put at risk once sex gets involved.

The show deals with every kind of mess imaginable. From drug addiction to adultery, every human weakness you can think of is there. And the acting is brilliant too. Very few shows have characters interesting enough for me to care. Yet here I am, completely invested in this one. Life has dealt del Castillo’s character so many blows that you wonder what she will be up against next. I am just starting season 2, and if it is near as good as season 1, then I am in for a treat.

Kate del Castillo

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