Monday, January 22, 2024

Zorro - The Chosen One / Inheritance

Filmed in the Spanish Canary Islands, the new Zorro offers a reinterpretation of his character opening with the deaths of both Zorro and Alejandro De La Vega in the opening scenes. Our Zorro is a Native American warrior, the latest to pick up the mantle bestowed on them after being chosen. Both men fall to the corruption of California under the thumb of an unscrupulous Governor (Rodolfo Sancho). After this we meet the clever Diego de la Vega (Miguel Bernardeau) who leaves his schooling and training in Spain after learning of his father's death to assume control of his lands and learn the truth about his murder (which has been blamed on the now dead Zorro).

The casting of the fair-skinned Bernardeau shocked me a bit as he seems to stand-out in or out of costume. Despite the dead Zorro's sister (Dalia Xiuhcoatl) wanting to take up the mantle, it's Diego who is chosen by the spirits who quickly finds use for the hidden rooms and caves beneath the manor. Diego also reunites with the spirited Lolita (Renata Notni) who still has feelings for him, whether she admits it or not given her engagement to a captain of the guard (Emiliano Zurita), and longtime family friend Bernardo (Paco Tous) who will be Diego's compatriot in his new endeavor.

Despite not being thrilled to become the new Zorro, and being willing to give it up in the second episode to Nah-Lin, who successfully saves both Diego and Lolita from a bank robbery after stealing the costume, the thread of justice is strong enough in him to accept the role, craft a new version of the costume with Bernardo's help, go after the bank robbers, and successfully return their remaining hostage to her family. "Inheritance" completes the second part of the origin story for the character with Diego making the conscious choice to keep the role, despite being offered the opportunity to walk away.

Renata Notni is certainly a highlight of the first two episodes and I'm hoping to see much more of her as the series continues. Despite my questions about Bernardeau's casting, he's an interesting take on Diego who doesn't go as far as Disney's Zorro in playing the disinterested aristocrat but still must hide his true motives and passions from those he cares for both to hide his role as Zorro and discover the truth about what happened to his father.

The added Native American influence, making them key characters in the show, along with also bring in Chinese immigrants in the next episode, offers a wider view of California and her inhabitants. Setting it a little later than other series also allows for California's independence and no question about loyalties to Spain. Despite their various ancestry, the characters here are all Californians with their own ideas about its future.

Diego's relationships with women seems to be a thread that will be explored on a few different paths with Lolita, Nah-Lin, and the mysterious Guadalupe Montoro (Cecilia Suárez). And with three different Zorros, we get plenty of swordplay and action, and Diego makes use of the whip in his version of Zorro as well. Other interesting aspects of the first two episodes include multiple mentions involving the de la Vega estate and Lolita's parents (Andrés Almeida and Elia Galera) who have their own drama going on in what they believe is best for their daughter, his wandering eye, and what they know of the Governor's corruption.

  • Title: Zorro - The Chosen One / Inheritance
  • IMDb: link | link

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