Sunday, March 13, 2005

Last week of "Amor Real"

I'm hooked on Univision's Amor Real (Real Love). The last four episodes of this grandiose telenovela are airing tomorrow through Thursday. A bunch of people told me they'd like to watch, but they need a scorecard, so in preparation for catching the grand finale, here is a quick recap of the last 100 or so episodes!

We're in the made-up town of Ciudad de Trinidad and environs. The website says it's the 1860s, during the War of Secession; however, if in fact Juan Alvarez is president in hiding, it should actually be the 1850s. If anybody can clarify this for me, please do. At any rate, no miniskirts; in fact, one hoopskirted dress from this show would provide cloth enough to sew every dress seen in a regular telenovela for a week or two. The costumes are great!

The conservatives are in power under their President, Santa Anna (left), but liberal exiles led by Juan Alvarez are heading an ever-stronger resistance.

As I wrote in a previous post, Juan Alvarez (right), who the rebels are claiming to be rightfully elected President, was son of a Spanish father and an Afro-Indian mother. He was a great writer and eloquently championed the causes of the darker-skinned Mexicans against the creoles (white Mexicans). He spent his entire career on horseback because he was a paraplegic.

Anyway, as the story unfolds the liberals (rebels as those in power call them) under Amadeo Corona (left) and the far-off Alvarez have been conducting sporadic guerrilla warfare from camps in the outback. They are gradually working their way toward the capital; the conservative army is feeling the heat.

Historically this Juan Alvarez led an armed rebellion in 1854, "the Revolution of Ayutla," during which Santa Anna fled into exile, the conservatives were chased out of government, and the liberals occupied Mexico City. Is that a spoiler? Alvarez was briefly president with Benito Juárez as minister of justice. Juárez, a Zapotec, in his time was the first Indian president of Mexico and was often described as the Abraham Lincoln.

Dr. Manuel Fuentes Guerra, our hero, is the bastard son of a hacienda owner and an Indian farmworker. As the story opens the rich guy dies and Manuel, his only child, inherits everything. Manuel is a proud and stoic man who never knew his father or mother. The mother had disappeared into prostitution after he was born. The father never acknowledged him until the deathbed will-signing.

As a mestizo, Manuel is well aware of the prejudice against him in society, and is bitterly amused that his new wealth trumps his Indian blood and illegitimate birth.

Manuel seeks a wife appropriate for his new status as millionaire. Matilde Peñalver y Beristain, daughter of impoverished aristocrats, is thrown his way by her conniving mother who expects the marriage will end her family's financial woes, daily increased by the gambling debts of the boozing ne'er-do-well son Humberto who has a top hat and what is described as a "Dracula" beard. Mother and son, left.

By the way, Humberto has since been rehabilitated - he got married, overcame his dreadful impotence and allergy to work, and is now a member of the good-guys team.

Matilde was innocently in love with a poor soldier, Adolfo Solis. The conniving mother had to get him out of the way so she had him thrown in jail (this is done frequently in Amor Real, the penal system is lax). The conniving mother then lied to Matilde enough to make her reluctantly willing to marry Manuel.

Usual problems ensue but she eventually fell in love with her rich husband Manuel and had a son (Manuelito) by him, and then there were more misunderstandings, jealous rages, tearful reconciliations, etc. for a few months worth of episodes.

Oh, before I forget, Manuel's long-rehabilitated mother proves to have been on the premises all the while, as a servant. Matilde figures this out and now the mother, discovered, is promoted to proper status and gets to wear crinolines and corsets (left) and gets to call out "hijo, hijo," as all mothers like to.

The worm in the apple is a young Frenchwoman, "Marie," who looks very fetching in her new-fangled corsets and excellent dresses. The hair, not so good.

In league with Yves, a boozing ne'er-do-well, she shows up claiming to be Marie de la Roquette, niece of the dead rich guy. Yves knows this to be a fraud but throws his lot in with her. They commission a fake will and screw Manuel out of his inheritance, making Manuel's marriage to Matilde null and their son a bastard.

"Marie" takes a lover, a fat old married bureaucrat, who gets into the act and almost succeeds in having Manuel and his mother killed. Instead, they hide out with the rebels for three years.

Matilde during these long years is told by her conniving mother this big fat lie: that Manuel is dead and that Matilda should marry (ah, irony) the very same Adolfo Solis -- now a colonel in the army and no longer poor -- from whose arms she was torn before her marriage to the then-rich now-penniless and supposedly dead Manuel. (Adolfo was married to a saintly woman for a while but she's died of TB and he's single again.)

Matilde sadly agrees, for the sake of her son's having an "appellido" (last name), but at the last minute is kidnapped from her engagement party by Manuel -- who is not dead -- and is taken back like a sack of potatoes on a horse to the rebel camp where she learns to wash clothes and make tortillas.

Adolfo, having had his bride-to-be snatched from his arms, seethes and wants to kill Manuel, the feeling is mutual.

So at this point, on the plus side:
  • The REAL Marie de la Roquette, a nun, has appeared. The false will has been revealed to be false. All the riches have reverted to Manuel, were he only able to claim them. The fake "Marie" has one week to vacate the mansion.

  • The rebels are getting ready to take Ciudad de Trinidad back from the conservatives' army. This would mean Manuel, a victor rather than a "traitor," would get his stuff back instead of going to jail.

On the minus side:
  • Manuel's mother died taking a bullet for him (right). The fat bureaucrat is to blame. Everybody is sad, even Adolfo.

  • Adolfo, an innately noble man for whom things have not gone well, realizes he is on the wrong side.

    He is also overwhelmed with guilt about nearly raping Mathilde in a barn so he drinks a lot. I think he wants to die in battle, soon.

  • Manuelito has been kidnapped and the fat bureaucrat has delivered a dangerous ultimatum about his disappearance to Manuel.

If you have any questions, I will answer them! I recommend you watch the show with the Spanish subtitles turned on because they talk kind of fast! Let me know if you give it a try!

I did a brief recap of Entre el Amor y el Odio here.
I am recapping Alborada starting here.

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At 10:38 PM, Blogger Cris said...

Wow! You explained it perfectly :) I'm sad that it's over now.

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

o my god u watched it to !!! so did i i never missed an episode it made me cry at the end i serious!! i speak spanish so i watched this sopa opera on the spanish channel have u bought the dvd yet?? i wished they would of put the whole soap opera on the dvd tho! e mail me!!!!

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous katy said...

oops i said it was anonymous but y email address is
sorry email me any time

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

demasiado buena la novela lastima que aqui en buxellas dan muy poquito tiempo en mi pais todo el dia hay novelas saludos a todos los latinos noveleros

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would like to watch the soap but i cant find the whole soap its yust 436 min on dvd
mail me please

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Contactos said...

Que buena era la novela, eh? una lástima

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I live in norway, and they have no spanish soaps here, but i JUST LOVE THEM. I stated whacing Amor Real when I was visiting my family in a nother country, now I`m diyng to se the rest. Plzzzz tell me where i can find it, if its possible??? Disa
My mail,

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hii .. i would like to know i do Manuel die in Amor Real ?? ..

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Dianar said...

I found this website: I was able to purchase Capitulos 1-25 but now I'm missing Capitulos 26-46, I will be contacting the supervisor tomorrow to see if there is any way of purchasing the rest of the Capitulos. 5 DVDs for $52.00 but with shipping and handling it was about $75 which was totally worth it I think I got it in 4 days.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought the Amor Real Dvd, but I did not like it, they cut too many parts out in the end the youtube recaps were much better and they are free, for those of you who never watched Amor Real several people also posted the whole soap so you can watch from start to finish.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought few complete sets of telenovelas including AmorReal, Alborada & Pasión from

They have pretty decent pricing plus I've got special 4 for price 3.
I received package in 4-5 days.

Eve from Cleveland

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous susanlynn said...

I love Amor Real.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I live in Czech and I realy love Amor Real, but i dont understand spanish, so please if anybody know where i could get english subtitles please give me know, my email is Thanks

At 5:25 PM, Blogger tessanoel said...

I love this drama, it has everything I want from a romance, love triangle with all sides pitiful. Manuel with his passionate and heated ways, I love it. Matilde, kind, sweet and innocent and so forgiving. Adolf, I pity him because he wasn't some villian that didn't deserve Matilde but he lost her thanks to her mother and in the end he got a happy ending with a beautiful wife. I hope each episode will be translated and recap on I have been dying to get a few things translated from out of my worst of spainish Interpretation. Caray,caray or Paige if anyone can see this please post it.


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