By Will Barber Taylor
Juan Elias (Francesc Garrido), a successful criminal lawyer with aspirations of becoming dean of the university and teacher of the most sought-after ethics Masters Course in the country, can’t remember who he is. His ripped clothes and injured face indicate that he has had an accident.
Hoping that the familiar surroundings will jog his memory, Elias returns home to his wife Judge Alicia Castro (Blanca Portillo) and their 10-year-old son and rebellious 11-year-old daughter. While discovering what kind of husband and father he was and trying to rebuild the emotional ties that he once had, Juan is faced by another challenge.
When the police find the wreck of Elisa’ car, they also find the mobile phone of his 23-year-old niece, Ana Saura (Susana Abitua). She was his student and disappeared the night of his accident. All the evidence points to the fact that Elias killed her. Now he will have to find a way to prove his innocence, even though he is unsure of whether or not he’s guilty.
I Know Who You Are is a complex and compelling drama which deals with the very concept of identity and whether we can truly know what we are capable of. Set in the gorgeous scenery of rural Spain, I Know Who You Are is impressive in its depth as it is in its detail. Rather than a short analysis of the human self, over the course of 16 episodes we get a detailed and forensic understanding of our central character Juan Elias (played magnificently by Francesc Garrido). It is through his attempts to rebuild his life and effort to understand himself once again that we are presented with a troubling and addictive look at the human self.
The acting is fantastic. Francesc Garrido as Juan Elias is magnificent – his early bewilderment as to what is happening morphs into his own fear as to what he is capable of. It is truly fascinating to watch. Elias inhabits the character completely and imbues him with a fear of his true nature which makes him empathetic to the audience.
Equally stunning is Blanca Portillo as Elias’ wife Alicia Castro. As a judge, she is forced into an impossible situation – helping her husband retrieve his lost memory but also protect her children from the truth of what their father may have become. Portillo is in many ways the moral centre of the series and she carries this off with effortless grace and skill.
I Know Who You Are is a fascinating physiological thriller which combines the best elements of intense drama with deep inner reflection on human nature. It utilises twists effectively and is a great examination of the human condition as well as being an enjoyable drama.
With thanks to Nordic Noir and Beyond. You can purchase I Know Who You Are from Amazon here.