This new ten-part thriller is written by Álex Pina, the man behind Money Heist, and premieres on Netflix on the 15th May. It features a strong cast, beautiful, writhing naked people and a stunning location on the white isle of Ibiza. It has a divine leading lady in Laura Haddock, who the camera worships. In other words, it’s a sure-fire hit.
The premise is interesting. Haddock plays Zoe, whose brother Axel went missing from Ibiza 20 years ago. Some heavy rains over the desert in southern Spain reveal the unfortunate Axel’s final resting place and Zoe and her husband fly out to identify the mummified body. Zoe had been told that he had left for India and feels this bereavement keenly. Her husband goes back home and leaves Zoe to travel to investigate in Ibiza, with strict warnings not to go mad again. Once there, she connects with the mates who travelled there with Axel back in the day. Marcus (Daniel Mays) has separated from lifelong love Anna (Angela Griffin) and his life as a DJ and dealer is unravelling. Mays is an asset to any production he is in and has the perfect mix of bravado and vulnerability. Things get interesting as the local club boss forbids dealing while his mother’s casino plan is awaiting approval, leading to a disgruntled surfer dealer throwing a banana boat full of cocaine over Marcus’s gate. Things only unravel more from there.
Anna, meanwhile, has become a host of high end orgies, strutting between her new recruits like a Roman empress, which is a good excuse for some lithe naked bodies to twist around picturesquely.
There are some issues with the credulity of the Manchester accents. Laurence Fox is from a venerable acting dynasty, about as far from a working-class Northern lad as it’s possible to get, and his scene as a Jesus-like guru holding a rave memorial for Axel borders on preposterous, although this may be intentional. Haddock’s accent is passable but not fully inhabited. This would not be a problem if the script weren’t so insistent on the Manchester thing – it’s mentioned regularly and it starts to feel like a bit of an insult to Mancunians.
But believability isn’t its main aim. It’s entertaining and soapily moreish. There are enough intriguing strands (what’s up with the creepy mother and son casino duo? Why are Axel’s mates pretending they remember nothing? Will Marcus get the Romanians off his back with all his digits and limbs intact? And, of course, who killed Axel and why?) for it to be as addictive as the eponymous drug.
It’s glossy and beautiful, and the central mystery is diverting enough that it will surely be a hit, not least with people nostalgic for the days when we were allowed to rave and go abroad.
White Lines is released digitally on Netflix on 15th May 2020.
Watch the trailer for White Lines here: