GALAXY TV is pouring out televenovelas more than any other channel so far but the one holding my interest is SORTILEGIO . Now I wrote a post about this telenovela in this blog back in February 2010 and for those Naija folks just visiting this blog; SORTILEGIO ( Love Spell ) is the 3rd and current remake of the 1985 telenovela TU O NADIE known by us as NO ONE BUT YOU- the second telenovela to hit our Nigerian screens back in 1993; the first being THE RICH ALSO CRY.
TU O NADIE (No One But You) starred the lovely Lucia Mendez and the hunky and very macho Andres Garcia( Antonio and Raquel) and every episode left us spell bound. SORTILEGIO stars the very handsome Cuban actor William Levy as Alejandro 'Alex' and the lovely Jacqueline Bracamontes as Maria Jose; the villain is David Zepeda who played Bruno (though as far as I'm concerned, the original villain Max, played by Salvador Pineda was FAR more sinister).
As far as remakes go; I like the exotic setting of SORTILEGIO; William and Jacqueline's acting and the BEAUTIFUL theme song by Il Divo but to be honest; I prefer the original, whose soundtracks were mostly sung by Lucia Mendez. The original was full of suspense but was straightforward.
This one; and I'm warning new viewers- is full of complicated sub plots; e.g Sandra who is Maria Jose and Paula's unknown sister dies from an overdose, Ulysses who happens to be her ex boyfriend and who later sleeps with both Alex's sister and Alex's brother in law (yeah, I'm NOT lying) and then later killed by Bruno, Maria Jose will be kidnapped and later drugged by her evil mother Elena and her husband who needed her to pose as Sandra to ensure Elena's father in law fufills his promise about leaving Sandra a huge trust fund, Bruno coming up with more elaborate lies, etc before his very STUPID mistake; firing shots at Alex's car while Alex and Paula are in it and then running away; fortunately Alex and Paula were unharmed because the glass was bullet proof- HA!
I have to mention Alex and Maria Jose's relationship. Their chemistry was very strong and their love scenes so steamy, one would think they hooked up in real life- but that was not the case. Alex, while he and Maria Jose had their problems (mostly caused by Bruno and Alex's vengeful ex girlfriend Maura), treated Maria Jose with more gentleness and said the 'L' word far more than his first predecessor (Antonio in Tu O Nadie, the original version) did. Not that Antonio and Raquel didn't have chemistry, they did and their love and passion very apparent. But while Antonio did use the 'L' word, I don't remember him calling Raquel
'darling' or 'my love'. And when the misunderstandings between him and Raquel piled up, Antonio was such a creep to her and just wouldn't give her the benefit of the doubt until certain events occurred and he and Raquel reconciled, after he assured her he wanted her back because he loved her and not because she was pregnant with their baby.
Alex on the other hand, immediately went to be by Maria Jose's side after she was stabbed during a mugging and wasn't too proud to ask for her forgiveness, or say how much he'd missed her (she had moved out of the house just like her predecessor did), with tears in his eyes- all his doubts dashed in a flash and very happy Maria Jose was having his baby. Alex was more sensitive, more emotional and more open about his feelings instead of bottling things up in the "tough guy", stoical way Antonio did; he wept when Maria Jose was kidnapped and did all he could to help her remember him when he found her later; but suffering from the drug-induced amnesia.I loved them together, they were so endearingly playful and loving with each other, more so after their son was born.
Bruno, oh... what to say about him! I maintain the original Max (Salvador Pineda) was more sinister, but showed a few traces of humanity but only around Victoria and on rare occasions. He also seemed to be in love with Raquel but his obsession of her and his overwhelming greed for Antonio's wealth and status pretty much overshadowed that. His love for Raquel was that of a prized possession, not of a woman. Bruno... I refuse to believe he loved Maria Jose, she was merely a means to get Alex's money and position. While Max just wanted Raquel back- to the extent of blackmailing her to have sex with him (she never succumbed) - Bruno went out of his way to hurt Maria Jose in many ways for choosing Alex over him; to the extent of kicking her pregnant belly when she went into labour outside the house, refusing to donate blood to her when she got stabbed (unless Alex ended their marriage and made him Chairman of the company) and being a part of her kidnap and tried to frame her for embezzlement, so that she would go to prison and Alex will be separated from her for a very long time. Plus, he was SO insolent towards Victoria, calling her a 'whore' for everyone to hear on discovering he was a Lombardo after all and never showed any form of remorse. Max can be described as simply 'EVIL' but Bruno- that dude was nothing but a SOCIOPATH!
And I don't like Victoria's profile at all. The original Victoria married Tonio's widowed father some years AFTER Max's dad died; this current Victoria,unlike the other Victoria incarnations had an affair with Alex's father when they were both still married to other people and since her husband Samuel was sterile; Bruno and his twin sister Raquel are Antonio's (Alex's dad) kids as well. And while she admitted that she did a bad thing to Samuel (who forgave her long before he died), she also added in an epic dinner scene where Bruno and Raquel confronted her for lying about their paternity, she didn't regret falling in love with Antonio or what she did with him... they could crucify her if they wanted! And she finally believed Maria Jose's accusations after Alex gave in to Bruno's demands to save Maria's Jose's life, hence wasn't deep in denial as the original Victoria was (until she had the undisputed proof) and stood up to him when he kept on with his antics.
Alex and Bruno's sister, Raquel (why couldn't they have just called her Camilla or any other name) was more temperamental than the original Camilla,who simply liked poking her nose into her brother's life and trying to ruin things between him and Raquel. 2009 ' Camilla'was a real hellcat, an alcoholic and almost served time in prison for attempted murder.
Maura- Alex's ex- was more of a snake than the original one. This first Maura was simply sneaky, this one was conniving and really wicked- she had a hand in Maria Jose's kidnap and pretended to console a grieving Alex, then afterwards helped Bruno to frame Maria Jose for embezzlement. So glad she was made to serve time in prison; viewers didn't know what became of the original Maura after Antonio saved her from her would be killer in Tu O Nadie.
But ONE thing was the same- or rather one character. And that was Ezequiel- the head butler- played by the late Guillermo Zarur. The reason why I say this is because this actor was in the original version,Tu O Nadie.
There, he played the head butler as well but his name was Ramon and his personality was pretty much the same in both versions, he was very proper and formal in manner (though in the remake had the tendency to be a tad gossipy and rather inquisitive). It must have amused Mr. Zazur to be in the 'several years' later remake of the 1985 telenovela. May he rest in peace.
The original's way better though I have to say that I like its second version ACAPULCO BAY; where Raquel is Rachel and Antonio is Tony (Raquel Gardiner and Anthony Newman) because scene for scene and line for line, it's completely faithful to TU O NADIE except for the ending where Max was shot dead by Victoria (before you judge her harshly he was about to shoot Tony in front of all of them). I just wish GALAXY TV would change the airtime from 12.30 p.m where people are busy at work to maybe 7.30 p.m where more viewers can follow it. Or better yet, NTA to show the original again; that I'll definitely go for!
In the meantime, a quick look at William Levy's (Alex) & Jacqueline Bracamontes' (Maria Jose)...
|Antonio Lombardo(ANDRES GARCIA)|
|David Montalvo (SAUL LISAZO)|
|Tony Stockdale (ANTHONY NEWMAN)|
Raquel Lombardo (LUCIA MENDEZ)
|Lorena Montalvo(PATRICIA MANTEROLA)|
|Rachel Stockdale (RAQUEL GARDINER)|