Netflix series Monzón brings a thought-provoking portrayal of the career and prison life of famous boxer Carlos Monzón, while analysing the social phenomenon.
The opening chapter of Netflix series Monzón recreates the events that put Argentina in a standstill in 1988, where Alicia Muñiz, Carlos Monzon’s former partner, was killed and the famous boxer is immediately the prime suspect. The story has an air of anticipation to it, with Carlos Monzon’s older self conveniently pushed into the shadows while investigators go through the house of the crime, while sidetracking the audience back to his origin and how he was introduced to boxing.
And that’s a reoccurring format throughout the Netflix series. Monzón gives us insight into the life of Carlos, his career and his subsequent prison life after years of reported domestic violence by former wives and mistresses. We learn early on how his life became violent from the offset as a young adult, coming to the aid of others, and becoming far too easily adjusted to war rather than flight.
While each episode builds the case against him and the murder of Alicia Muñiz, Monzón regularly sidetracks to highlight his rise to a glamourous lifestyle born from a famous boxing career; and not just immediate victories, but from his first trainer to career setbacks to his first world middleweight title. While his boxing achievements are the lighter side of the story, Monzón feels like a personal magnifying glass on the man, forcing the audience to question him personally as he struggles to deal with the pressures of fame.
The story has remnants of O. J. Simpson, where the question of character is put on a pedestal despite the horrific nature of the crimes. The reaction of Carlos Monzon is transparent in the story, with the boxer coming to terms with the situation in his unique way — and in contrast, let us never forget Simpson’s only way of dealing with the spotlight of such events, speeding down the highway while communicating with the police.
Netflix series Monzón is an enjoyable, thought-provoking piece of work that analyses the social phenomenon.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.