I thought of a dozen ways of exactly how to approach opening the case for the Mexican mystery horror thriller Veronica. Two women, doctor and patient, attempt to uncover what keeps the other so removed from reality that deflection and manipulation become an essential survival technique. My blinking cursor was stagnant for quite some time, because in order to expose its roots to relay just how effective its 81 minutes was, I would have to listen to the sound of my own voice again, covering my own anxiety from light, to find the darkness again of experiences that haunt me even to this day. I'd rather not divulge details. And it speaks altitudes of Veronica's success at an mesmeric, solemn, and dangerous cathartic piece of art it actually is.
A psychologist (Arcelia Ramírez) occupies a rustic, sleek house made for deep country living and peace, gently disrupted by a phone call she receives, convincing her to see Veronica de la Serna (Olga Segura) an enchanting and troubled young woman with an endless supply of snark. Intense therapy is implied as necessary methods are used where the two live under the same roof, the psychologist spending daylight drilling through Veronica's impenetrable mental wall and night's perturbed by the younger woman's arguably intriguing routine. The unsubtle tension that arouses a turmoil, a playground both women immerse themselves in, that crescendos in the hypnotic moments leading up to the film's completion is a task that translates as any and our own inner human struggle to erase and destroy what has long past yet what continues to cripple.
Veronica was filmed utilizing beautiful soft light that clashes with its erratic, conscious shattering core molded by disconnection, mistrust, and the rot of trauma. There is a technical brilliance with light and color employed by directors Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran that has the ability to indubitably allow a suspension of personal control into whatever fate has in store for both the psychologist and Veronica, with the hope that the wall shatters not in the name of instantaneous relief, but to imply the birth of revelation as a alternative to survival. Ramírez' psychologist is the gentle, kind, and all too patient contrast to Segura's Veronica, a boil of contained hostility. Not only does their chemistry carry without a distraction, it's the isolation of the location and the missing puzzle piece in this narrative that will leave a lasting residue that I hope this uncomfortable film arouses in audiences.