Viceversa, Final Notes

Viceversa, Final Notes
Fecha de publicación: 
11 June 2024
Imagen principal: 

This Wednesday the soap opera Viceversa  ran on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays concluded and judging by the multiple reactions on the networks, it’s proven that melodrama moves people in Cuba. Even the very timid melodrama that Cuban soap operas usually lavish on, which take on the genre with certain reserves, without going all out, without fully assuming the possibilities (and incidentally, the excesses) of the usual soap opera.

But even in the world, in some of the major soap opera production centers (Brazil, Colombia, Turkey, South Korea...), the genre is changing, certain boundaries are being blurred. There’s melodrama, but it’s not the absolute empire of melodrama. This has been Cuba’s case in recent decades. This has been Viceversa, which like almost all Cuban productions, largely promoted a public, social agenda.

But perhaps the attempt to address so many pressing issues affected the dramatic structure of the proposal. The number of plots was excessive. And this was complicated by the editing, which often fragmented scenes, at times unjustifiably, seeking to create tensions. Peak moments, awaited for many chapters, were interrupted and quite a few were even resolved with subsequent references. The result is that on some occasions, instead of keeping the public in suspense, what was achieved was to de-dramatize.

Vice versa did not completely solve an certainly problematic equation. Recreate its many plots (in the manner of classic soap operas), with a narration that’s sometimes non-linear, as in the series. It must be recognized that the appeal of many of these stories managed to sustain attention.

The performing level, in a general sense, was good. The making should be highlighted, with emphasis on deficient sections in recent novels, like sound editing and lighting.

The decision not to record in the studio has guaranteed the Cuban drama an evident verisimilitude (too many cardboards that never looked like walls had to be suffered for years), but other specialties took a hit: the quality of the sound and the effectiveness of the lighting design. Here are notable the clear advances in that sense. As in the makeup, costumes, settings.

The same couldn't be said for outdoor scenes. The vision of the city continues to be very flat, with few nuances, very limited. It concentrates on fragments of a neighborhood street, or a park... without particular aesthetic searches. The Cuban soap opera should take more advantage of the plasticity of cities, and not only to insert transition scenes, but so that the environment, the setting, contributes, gives certain meanings to the actions, to the drama. Viceversa did not take advantage of those potentials.

Finally, it seems to us that the design of the opening and closing has been very inspired, very successful... the best ever seen in a long time on Cuban Television.

Viceversa ended. Next week there will be premiered a Cuban soap opera. We will be on the look out.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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