Riveting Riffs Logo One Aura Garrido Gives Goya Award Worthy Performance
Un Asunto Privado foto Un par Manuel Fernandez Valdez

Un Asunto Privado (A Private Affair) a series produced in Spain by Bambú Producciones, starring Aura Garrido and Jean Reno and directed by the trio of David Pinillos, Maria Ripoll and Daniel Aranyó, is a classic whodunit, with a comedic flair. While all the supporting cast are superb, there is no confusing who the stars are for this show, with Aura Garrido in the role of Marina Quiroga, a wannabe police detective, taught by her late father who had been the commissioner of police, and Jean Reno who instead of being in the role of the butler who did it, plays instead Héctor the butler who helps to solve it. The series is created by Teresa Fernández-Valdés (produced Gran Hotel and Now and Then), Gema R. Neira (Alta Mar, Las Chicas del Cable) and Ramon Campos (Gran Hotel, Alta Mar, Las Chicas del Cable). Do you notice the pattern here, of successful collaborations?

Un Asunto Privado, which if you live in an English first speaking country you will find on Amazon Prime, as A Private Affair, can best be described as a Mystery Dramedy. Set in the late 1940s or early 1950s in Spain, firmly entrenched in both the Franco dictatorship and a time when women had few rights in Spain and for that matter elsewhere in the world, the storyline is built around Marina Quiroga and her sidekick Héctor, as they seek to find out who the serial killer is. There is some limited violence in this series due to the nature of the crime and although it is not gratuitous, it is probably not best for children. Jean Reno who has for decades blessed us with his magnificent performances, at the age of 74 demonstrates that he has not lost a step in terms of his brilliant acting. Aura Garrido who has starred in El Ministerio del Tiempo, Blue & Malone: Casos Imposibles and El inocente (The Innocent), blossoms in both a comedic and dramatic role as Marina Quiroga. We are wishing for a sequel to this series if for no other reason than to enjoy another spectacular performance from her.

Will Pablo Zarco (played by Gorka Otxoa) win Marina’s heart or will it be Andrés Castaño (actor Álex Garcia) or will one of them be discovered as the killer?  Marina flirts with both, batting her eyelashes and looking deep into their eyes, before handcuffing one to a chair and knocking the other one out cold. Otxoa is funny and quite handsome, while Garcia’s character, Castaño, rumor has it may be a womanizer.

Why is it that Marina’s brother Arturo (Pablo Molinero), the current commissioner of police does not want Marina poking around, unofficially in this crime, trying to solve it? Does he merely reflect the male chauvinism of the times, is it jealousy alluded to in flashbacks to when they were children or is it something else altogether?

Let us talk about actress Ángela Molina who as Marina’s mother Doña Asunción is simply superb. At times she is hilarious. We should also mention Irene Montalà and give a nod to her performance as Margó.

The writers do subtly ask on several occasions through the characters, why is a woman not allowed to do certain things, like be an inspectora, be a police officer. Those are questions asked of those times, but the message is also clear, why are women today denied other opportunities that they deserve on merit.

If Spanish is not your first language, do yourself a favor and watch it in Spanish with subtitles in whatever language you prefer. If you do not, you will miss the nuances in speech that are so essential to the plot.

The scenery in Spain is breathtaking, the costumes designed by Pepe Reyes are fabulous and the sets created by too many to name in this space are at times lavish and at other times dark and mysterious.

We are not sure at this writing if Aura Garrido has been nominated for a Goya Award (2023) for her performance in Un Asunto Privado, but she should be. Of that there is no question. Hats off to the writers who kept us in suspense to the very end and oh that rubbing of his ear by Hector when he is not telling the truth, signaling that he enjoyed playing detective, is that a tip to us, the audience that there will be more in the futura (future)?

You can watch the trailer here in Spanish. Un Asunto Privado is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Photo by Manuel Fernandez-Valdes ©

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This review by Joe Montague published December 27th, 2022 is protected by copyright © and is the property of Riveting Riffs Magazine All Rights Reserved.  All photos are the the property of Amazon Prime, Bambú Producciones and Manuel Fernandez-Valdes unless otherwise noted and all  are protected by copyright © All Rights Reserved. This review may not be reproduced in print or on the internet or through any other means without the written permission of Riveting Riffs Magazine.