Review: The Three Wise Men: the truth


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Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar open the doors of their palace for the first time for the filming of a documentary about their day-to-day life as they prepare for the Three Kings parade, not exactly at its peak popularity. Thus begins a crazy adventure in which these three mythical characters put themselves in the hands of their new manager, Lola, to modernize their legend with collaborators as diverse as Lorenzo Caprile, Almudena Cid, Jordi Hurtado, Esty Quesada or Rozalén.


This is the “office” of the Magi when they do things in the shadows

Americans often make fun of their culture, they also play with it and sell it to the rest of the world. Why don’t we do this? It is something that worked for ‘The Ministry of Time’ (which shares a production company with this film), which I recently liked that it did ‘Kings vs. Santa’ and that Victor Garcia Leon did with ‘selfie’ or the series ‘Vota/Venga/Vamos Juan’. Now with ‘Los Reyes Magos: la verdad’ the director puts on Christmassy to unravel the secrets and lives of those who bring us gifts on January 6, in the form of a mockumentary.

As in ‘Kings against Santa’, the concern or mockery of someone belonging to a generation that knows that the customs of the USA are separating the traditional Spanish ones is detected. The technique is closer to that of ‘Selfie’, giving the impression that we are behind the intrusive cameras of some reporters, but the acidity and comedy is similar to that of the series starring Javier Cámara. The Three Wise Men sign a representative and she acts as a guide speaking to the camera while her majesties try to adapt and open up to the 21st century. The feeling is that we are facing a Spanishization of ‘The Office’ or ‘What we do in the shadows’, at least drink a few drops from those sources. Some characters want to appear pathetically like Michael Scott and others are as socially incompetent as Nandor, there’s even the parallelism of “paranormal beings” and his assistant.

In the cast we even have the director in mind as the director of the documentary that is supposedly being recorded. The Magi are Mauro Muniz, Javier carramiñana Y Peter Gutierrez and the representative is Camila Viyuela. They portray this backstage (as it has become almost solely commercial) version of our Christmas. But at the same time they perpetuate the leitmotiv of the work of García León, which for me is none other than the Spanish show business. Hence the immense amount of jokes and the character of the characters with which we must assume to feel recognized. Inopportune statements, moments of embarrassment, outdated jokes… the national parody returns almost as if we were singing again in that program by Sardá and Constantino Romero. The director dresses the kings as puppets (as in certain Madrid parades), makes them swim, dance, expose themselves to social networks… He breaks a myth with the punk rage of a child who has just found out that kings don’t exist.

I’m sorry to repeat myself, but as in the Gervais, Clement and Waititi series, we have celebrities who sweeten the footage. And they are not few because ‘The Magi: the truth’ has the appearance of Jordi Hurtado, Almudena Cid, Lorenzo Caprile, rozalen, esty quesada… It’s impossible to hate them normally, let alone in this movie.

The brooch, the icing on the cake, the curling the curl… let’s call it what we want, is the fact that this is a Prime Video movie. We buy and consume more and more and day by day the share of purchases made online grows. I don’t know if it was Víctor García León who wanted to verify this irony by premiering on the Amazon platform or if the audiovisual division of Jeff Bezos’s company in Spain has purposely opened the door to this project resorting to a slight self-criticism. In any case, we are facing a paradox that reads very between the lines and that is very funny. Kings are parents and this may not be the mother of parodies, but it is a well-received brother-in-law.

film sheet

Premiere in Spain: December 16, 2022. Original title: The Magi: the truth. Duration: 77 min. Country: Spain. Address: Victor Garcia Leon. Script: Teresa Bellon, Daniel Castro, Victor Garcia Leon. Music: Arturo Cardelus. Photography: Eva Diaz Iglesias. Main cast: Camila Viyuela, Mauro Muñiz de Urquiza, Javier Carramiñana, Pedro Gutiérrez, Gorka Aguinagalde, Almar G. Sato, Paula Iwasaki, Lorenzo Caprile, Almudena Cid, Jordi Hurtado, Esty Quesada, Rozalén. Production: Onza Entertainment, Amazon Prime Video. Distribution: Prime Video. Gender: comedy.

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Review: The Three Wise Men: the truth