Intimacy is a Spanish political drama streaming on Netflix. I watched the eight-part series on a friend’s recommendation and I do not regret it, in fact, I highly recommend it. This binge-worthy show deals with the pains of abusive cybercrime; how intimate revelations regarding a person’s life can be destructive in different walks of life. Now that India too has its share of viral intimate videos targeting women, women need to keep this series on their must-watch list.
Here’s why you must watch Intimacy on Netflix:
Intimacy On Netflix: The storyline
Let’s begin with the cast; the drama has Itziar Ituño (of Money Heist fame) as Malen Zubiri in the lead, Emma Suárez as Miren, Patricia López Arnaiz as Bego, Verónica Echegui as Ane, Ana Wagener as Alicia and Yune Nogueiras as Leire.
The story kicks off with a grim beginning, as we see a woman moving toward the deep water as she asks the viewers – have you trusted anyone too much? This piece is brilliant because all at once in my mind, I think of all the people and the bad things that might have happened around me because they trusted the wrong person. With such misgiving, the woman soon lies lifeless on the water’s surface. This woman turns out to be Ane, whose intimate photos and videos were circulated at her workplace and the harassment she faced there led her to take this step.
We are then introduced to Malen Zubiri parallelly, who is the deputy mayor of the city of Bilbao and is soon-to-be declared the candidate for the mayor seat. But unfortunately, one day her sex tape with an unidentified man is released on social media which puts her career and image on hold. Malen’s early dialogue seems powerful where she states she did have consensual sex on the beach, and “that’s it.” Yet we soon realise that revelations of recorded intimacy can destroy a life. Malen initially seems unperturbed by it and wants to get along with her life and career as usual, but the world and her family thinks otherwise. Through her husband and daughter, one sees how a revenge video that’s sexual in nature shakes the core of a family.
What I really like about the series is that it is a story about the image we choose to project and its mismatch with reality, that questions what’s public and what’s a private matter. So does Malen, but she soon discovers it’s a man’s world.
After the viral video, detective Alicia also comes into the picture who is investigating Ane’s case as well and wants Malen to report the case, so as to set an example for other revenge porn victims to come forward to report. Bego, Ane’s sister, after her death, is understandably shocked to hear what her sister was going through and decides to seek justice through Malen as well. Meanwhile, Malen’s daughter Leire is going through something similar as well with her boyfriend, and the lives of these four women cross paths. Will Ane’s harasser be identified or will Malen report the case that might end her political career? Well, watch it to find out.
The highlight of the show
As the show unfolds we get to see the manner in which a survivor goes through the stages of guilt. Be it Malen or Bego, they both initially deny what has happened to them. Malen wants to look like she can’t be broken by such dirty political tactics against her and Bego cannot believe that a person she was closest and thought she knew her inside out was actually far from being known. This realisation leads to anger towards oneself, the world and everything, thinking why does it have to happen to them.
Both think they could have avoided the catastrophes in their lives and go through various situations in their minds that they could have done things differently. Then they finally resort to the bargain that they actually deserved for all the sins that they have done in their life. That’s when depression sets in and getting out of your own head becomes difficult. Some end up like Ane and some try to avoid everything until they break down like Malen.
Why it needs to be watched
Intimacy on Netflix gets to the heart of the issue; on the one hand, you have a mayoral candidate Malen who is trying to control the narrative, and on the other hand, a normal regular woman like Ane who felt embarrassed to report what happened to her at work, which led to an avoidable death. Both case studies are examples of the vicious nature of social media and how it does not help women report crimes against them due to shame and embarrassment.
The message that the series Intimacy gives is that often in criminal cases the cybercrime survivor is blamed and bears its consequences, whereas, we should lend support and say ‘you are a victim, it’s not your fault’.
In the end, all I would like to say without giving away spoilers is that it ends on a positive note.
Views expressed by the author are their own.