In a blend of reality and fiction, Netflix unveils its latest true-crime film, “Crime Diaries” inspired by the 2021 murder of the Colombian stylist Mauricio Leal and his mother at the hands of his brother and son.
The movie, now available for streaming, recounts the tale of the double homicide, narrating the unsettling events surrounding Mauricio’s brother, Jhonier Leal, who not only killed his brother and mother but also attempted to manipulate the crime scene by framing him. While the film follows the assigned officer handling the case, it also closely examines the secrets and memories of those close to the Leal family.
A heinous crime
Digging into their complicated relationships, the story explores Jhonier’s jealousy and resentment towards his successful brother, providing an insight into why he committed the terrible act.
Technically, “Crime Diaries” captivates its audience with a well-paced thriller that connects the dots of the case. While respecting the memories of the deceased, the film refrains from casting doubt on the identity of the murderer.
A commendable cast maintains an appropriate pace given the sensitive nature of the subject. Netflix seems to have made a strategic move with this addition to true crime, balancing dramatic storytelling with the gravity of real-life events.
Despite the ethical dilemma, the film presents a straightforward recounting of the case, eschewing superfluous details to provide an accurate portrayal of key events. It specifically highlights the seizure of Mauricio Leal’s assets due to allegations of money laundering and maintains the inclusion of Jhonier’s confession, despite later assertions of coercion.
“Crime Diaries” accomplishes what it sets out to do: shed light on a chilling real-life story. As with many true crime productions, it leaves the audience pondering the fine line between entertainment and a respectful portrayal of victims’ lives.