Let me insist: have you ever been to prison?
Personally, no. And even less so in a British one. I haven’t even visited yet. Most of what I saw was what I saw in movies ‘Life imprisonment’, ‘The Green Mile’, ‘In the name of the Father’, ‘The stone’, “Infernal Fortress”, “Escape from Alcatraz”, ‘Cell 211’, ‘A Prophet’, “Bronson”, ‘Papillon’, “The Legend of the Indomitable”, ‘Midnight Express’, “Brawl in Cell Block 99”, “1997: Rescue in New York”…the truth is that there are thousands upon thousands of stories set in all types of prisons around the world.
what is so special about that? ‘Sentence’? Everything and nothing at the same time. Through fiction we have been in prison many times, in prisons of all kinds from the past, the present and even the future. For the second ‘Sentence’ manages to do it (almost) like the first time, although with the change in genre and greater sharing of the spotlight, it’s no longer about feeling at home in a prison and more about empathizing with a series of dramatic circumstances that are as real as possible in real life.
What hurts hurts, and what really hurts is truly heartbreaking. Crying is a recurring option in a story that often feels like a punch in the mouth and punch in the stomach. ‘Sentence’ It’s a continuous emotional confrontation in three acts, which becomes even more evident in a second season in which there is hardly a character who doesn’t carry his own grief with him. More choral and, above all, more feminine, but also more fiery due to the constant jump from one drama to the next and so on.
Something that wants to be (and finds) with intent, malice and betrayal… but again in the best sense: that of a hard and devastating, but at the same time hopeful and emotional story, which becomes strong in the humanity of the characters made of flesh and blood and as much guilt as forgiveness. Almost as intense as the first, although also a bit more fragmented and discontinuous, as it covers more but presses less, resulting in a seemingly more complex microcosm, but at the same time not as concrete and immersive.
His humanism stands above his multifaceted appearance and the many questions he throws into the viewer’s face. Everything is still in its place, everyone still has their right to exist. Everything contributes to the cause, although not as vehemently as in the first, in condensing into three lively hours all sorts of human, moral and ethical questions surrounding the “prison life” subgenre from a female perspective on this occasion. Mothers, daughters, companions.
A genre full of characteristic tics ‘Sentence’ confronted once again with a lot of unisex determination, a great conviction in humanity and an intimidating dramatic succinctness, in which every meager comma does not, however, give the impression that it is the center of the universe, as was the case in the first part. The second is larger but feels slightly smaller; firmer and less dull. “Almost” as satisfying, if not as well-rounded… although they are “sensations” derived from a comparison.
Because it’s still an excellent production, where everything is of a high standard and there isn’t a (female) performer who isn’t up to the task (with Bella Ramsey as the star of the show). This second season continues to present a direct, tough but honest story that doesn’t beat around the bush and gives the viewer very little wiggle room between blows and punches. An elegant and very intense experience that completely immerses us in a prison life that we (almost) feel on our skin, as if it were ours too.
As always on the best occasions. Although it no longer feels (quite) like it was our first time. Maybe, I don’t know, the second or the third.
By Juan Pairet Iglesias