User Reviews (7)

Add a Review

  • Warning: Spoilers
    I recently saw this at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Although nothing to do with film the name Mata Hara has become synonymous with female spies or femme fatal's as she was a Dutch exotic dancer who was convicted and executed by the French in world War I, accused of being a German spy. So here in this film we have three female private detectives thus the stretch of the name Mataharis as the film title. In this modern story set in Madrid, Eva (Najwa Nimri) is the married mother of two assigned to a rather mundane case of tracking down an old man's first love and who because of her detective skills has stumbled upon the possibility that her husband Iñaki (Tristán Ulloa) may not only be having an affair but leading a double life with another wife and family. Carmen (Nuria González) is assigned to a case by a man who believes his business partner is doing unreported company work on the side only to find out he's got something else going on the side too. Inés (María Vásquez) is the detective agencies youngest agent and she is assigned to work undercover as a factory employee to spy on the activities of it union bosses only to fall in love with one who she is supposed to be spying on. It's a great cast and a very realistic story from actress turned writer/director Icia Bollain and co written by Tatiana Rodrigues. Bollain directs. Nice photography from cinematographer Kiko De La Rica. It's kind of like a Lifetime for Women movie channel movie but hey, I like Lifetime for Women movies and I could actually see someone remaking this in the USA as an English language movie for television. I would give this a 7.5 out of 10 and recommend it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Set in Madrid, this movie gives a new twist to private investigator movies, with a view that focuses on the lives of three female private investigators.

    As with most actual private investigations, there are no car chases and no shoot-outs. The real drama is the betrayal the investigators reveal and the betrayals they commit to investigate others. In turn, they discover that their own lives are just as troubled as the clients the seek to help.

    The acting is excellent, the stories are believable, and the editing and production are top quality. The Spanish audio quality is good and English subtitles are available. In short, if you are looking for an action-packed spy movie, go elsewhere. However, if you want good drama, sweetened with intimacy,caring, and a few drops of subtle romance, this movie well worth your time.
  • Iciar Bollain, who made the debut film "Take My Eyes", tells the story about three women who live in Madrid. The director uses an allegorical expression to talk about three middle-aged women's lives. In addition to personal stories, she emphasizes social messages like her first movie, Take My Eyes. These women characters are detectives and they observe other people's lives; however, they have a lot of problems in their marriages and they cannot resolve their problems. The director approaches every character sentimentally. Furthermore she emphasizes the problems which are bigger. The women, having problems in their lives, care about housework and childcare for their children. Also there is such great the segregation between women and men in society. They struggle with social inequality. If we thought about the movie with all its elements, we would say that "Mataharis" is an impressive and realistic movie; however, it's not better than Take My Eyes.

  • It would be difficult for any filmmaker to top Iziar Bollain's previous film, Te doy mis ojos, a true masterpiece. She just preferred to change the genre. From that point of view, these Mata Haris are a bit deceiving. Was it signed by any other director, the film would be celebrated as a successful and original genre piece. The main characters are definitely believable and the film delivers a precise portrait of this day Spain, with a varied group of characters trying to live his life among the conflicts that define our modern days: Unfaithfull grooms, treacherous partners, hypocritical friends and lovers, dishonest employers... The story revolves about a group of women private eyes, the perfect excuse to peek on other peoples lives. In all it's entertaining and enjoyable, and I am sure that Mrs Bollain will deliver soon another masterpiece.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The lives of three women working for a detective agency in Madrid are examined in this story. There is Carmen, an older woman, whose marriage, to what appears to be a workaholic, is in its last legs. Then there is Ines, a single woman whose work requires her to infiltrate a firm in the outskirts of the city as a cleaner. The last one, Eva, discovers in the worst way that her husband has a secret life he never shared with her.

    We have admired director Iciar Bollain, who is also an actress. This is a fragmented view of three lives at a moment they must do something to either move on, as Carmen does; or just renounce to a possible happier involvement with the man Ines was spying; or maybe resolve the issues that have made Eva so unhappy. The problem is that the screenplay by Tatiana Rodriguez doesn't prove anything, leaving the viewer wishing for something more.

    We have not been fans of Najwa Nimri, who appears as Eva. Our main problem is the way she modulates her voice, which sounds like a mumble most of the time, but we have to be fair in that her Eva is one of the best things she has done, guided by an astute Iciar Bollain. Maria Vazquez, seen as Ines, might be Ms. Bolloain's alter ego because of the resemblance to the director. Finally, Nuria Gonzalez makes an impression by portraying a serious character who discovers what it is to be appreciated by someone other than her husband, and to dance again. Tristan Ulloa, Antonio DelaTorre, Diego Martin, Fernando Cayo, and the rest of the supporting actors do a fine job as well.

    One can only hope Ms. Bolloain will get back to form for her next project.
  • Interesting take on three female detectives 'spying' on their own lives, however the movie is far from perfect.

    Amongst the three arcs, only Carmen's story is close to being wholesome (with a great ending), while the other two arcs are really just extras in my opinion, as they did not generate enough substance of their own and failed to stand out as complete stand-alone stories of their own. One of the arc was too conventional or clichéd, while the other arc... I really do not get why that arc existed in the first place. This imperfection is the main (and huge) drawback to my rating, otherwise if the script were to be adjusted to at least bring the other two arcs to be as strong or better than Carmen's, and somehow intertwined the three stories together in a good way, this film could have easily been a 9.5 star. Pity.
  • This is a great movie about three women who worked for a detective agency. While hired/contracted/spied on those clients' appointed targets, we, the viewers, have become the spies checking on their own personal lives, their dying and endangered marriage, the relationship between the detective and the target, the numbness of the husbands and wives, the secret dilemma between them. It's so subtle yet so heart broken. The relationships of the two married couples are so heartfelt miserable, making viewers like us to look at our own relationship. The movie didn't show you any dramatic or dangerous plot and it's quite predictable, but the screenplay, the directing, the acting, the sound track... are all top notched. This is a great movie.