The new Brazilian crime thriller series “Good morning, Verônica” (“Bom dia, Verônica”, original title in Portuguese) has been becoming very popular since it was released on 1st of October, on Netflix. There is a reason for that: it is breathtaking and outstanding. The series is an original from Netflix streaming, based on the book with the same name, written by Ilana Casoy, a famous Brazilian criminologist who is an expert in psychological profiles of murderers and also, Raphael Montes, a Brazilian crime novelist.
The plot shows Verônica Torres, a young woman who works as a police clerk at the Homicide Police Station in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she lives a bureaucratic routine within the system. She finds herself facing the abyss when she witnesses a woman who kills herself in front of her, in the police station. That situation causes her a kind of hunger for women’s justice and brings painful past wounds back as well.
The police clerk expects that her boss Carvana, the Chief of Police – who has a kind of father’s relationship with her-; to open the investigation of the case, but instead, Carvana is just worried about how the suicide will provoke the media, public reaction and as a consequence, how it would affect his relationship with politicians and members of justice. When she notices Carvana doesn’t care about the case in an explicit misogynistic attitude, she takes over the case, even if her boss disapproves of it. She finds out that the woman who committed her suicides was the victim of a scammer who she had met on a dating app’. The woman was deceived, kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a maniac. The more that Veronica investigates, her boss and her colleagues keep trying to get her away from the case.
Later on, Verônica receives the anonymous call from a desperate woman crying out for her life. By this time, we are following Janete, a housewife who lives an abusive relationship with her husband Brandão, a psychotic Military Police Colonel, who has so much influence in the police system, in Sao Paulo. She is a prisoner in her marriage, even if she doesn’t realise that because of the psychological stresses she has passed through. She can’t have friends, talk to her family in the countryside, she can’t have a mobile phone or internet at home, she barely can go out. She is the woman who has called Verônica. At this point, Veronica decides to use all her investigative skills to dive into the cases of the two victims: the young girl who committed suicide, and the subjugated wife of Brandão. At this stage, we feel shocked about how cruel and intelligent the serial killer Brandão is.
As she goes deeper into these investigations, Verônica will face a wicked world that endangers her family and her lives. She sees herself surrounded by crimes against women and also a secret scheme of corruption. Also, the series presents Veronica’s own storyline unveiled parallel to the others. She has a traumatic past involving her parents’ death which was part of a conspiracy. That’s too much adrenalin!
During the 8 episodes we follow Verônica trying to safe Janete from the hands of her abusive husband, but also, find a way to prove the military policeman is a dangerous serial killer who catches young women who have arrived in Sao Paulo, looking for a job and to build better lives.
As a Brazilian citizen, I see the series as a critique of Brazilian society and how its system works. The creators are not subtle to spotlight many elements that reflect our cultural issues such as domestic violence against women, which unfortunately is an enormous problem in our History, based on the cultural sexism. This subject is not given the necessary attention from the State, Justice and police. Another subject which comes up is about the corruption in the military and civil police corporations which represents a failed system in Brazilian politics against crime. Also, the series highlights the abuse of power from police and politicians and the feeling of powerlessness from citizens like Veronica who want to promote justice.
Regarding the narrative, premise, storylines, structure, characters and dialogues, they are all convincing and plausible. The only thing that has annoyed me was when the scriptwriters introduced in a rush some new storylines. As an example, when the story focuses on the orphanage involving a kind of “Illuminati training” for orphans to get into the Brazilian police system. It was an interesting plot twist, but confusing, especially considering it didn’t develop enough beforehand to give us any clues leading up to it, but I believe it will be an interesting hook for the next season.
The actors were well-casted and they are convincing. Eduardo Moscovis, who plays the serial killer Brandão is a talented and renowned actor in Brazil, so for me, it wasn’t a surprise that he could do a great job. His cruelty and psychopathic instincts provoked in me, hate, pain and fear. Janete, who is played by Camila Morgado, an experienced and versatile actress, explores the complexity that the character demands. She wants to get rid of him, but at the same time, she’s emotionally attached to him. Tainá Muller who plays Verônica is a big surprise. I think she hasn’t had the chance to show how talented she is. I can’t imagine any other actress starring as Veronica. She fits impressively and naturally as the heroine without any stereotypes. It’s phenomenal!
Over-all, the series production represents for Brazilian audiovisual a big step ahead in terms of opening an international market of producing quality content. It makes me confident as a Brazilian and audiovisual professional, that if Brazil had the same investments in culture and entertainment, like in the US or the UK, the Brazilian Film / TV industry would be bigger and stronger than it is now. Thankfully, we have Netflix and other streaming companies which have been investing to create content in many parts of the world, giving a chance to show other cultures and talents internationally.
The series shows the naked truth about some “wounds not healing” in Brazilian society, but those can be found in many countries around the globe as well. Veronica is the representation of resistance against old social behaviours, looking for justice and to build up a progressive and fair Brazil and the world. That’s the reason the series has caused empathy with people from different background.
I am looking forward to the second season.