“Under Her Control,” (“La Jefa” in Spanish) directed by Frans Torres, stars Aitana Sanchez Gijon and Cumelen Sanz in prominent roles. The film revolves around an unusual contract that the ladies entered into. So let’s understand the motivations and intentions of the characters and what they wanted to achieve.
Beatriz wanted a baby, and Sofia wanted to abort the baby she was going to have. The ladies were in different phases of life. Beatriz had achieved everything in her life professionally, and Sofia, on the other hand, was still starting out. She wanted to make money, do good in her career, and make a name for herself. Sofia had a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Buenos Aires, and she said that she had completed her master’s in international trade and also had done an MBA. Beatriz got a call in the middle of the interview, and she asked Sofia to answer it, trying to assess how she handled the situation. Beatriz was impressed by Sofia and offered her a job. Sofia, too, felt like she had met a wonder woman. She was in awe of Beatriz. Beatriz had created everything from scratch, and Sofia idolized her. Sofia was inspired by her journey. Nacho, Sofia’s boyfriend, wanted to take things forward. He wanted to buy a flat and move in with Sofia. He had already seen a place, but Sofia had different plans.
Beatriz did not know that Sofia was pregnant. Once she got to know, she thought that it might be a hindrance to her work. She felt a bit annoyed that Sofia hadn’t told her about the pregnancy earlier. But all of a sudden, she realized that she could use the situation to her benefit. She asked Sofia to be a surrogate mother for her. Now, this kind of arrangement is illegal in the eyes of the law. Beatriz told her to live with her for the duration of the pregnancy. She offered her a handsome amount and said to her that all her expenses would be taken care of.
In the negotiations, Sofia asked to double the amount she was offering, and, in addition to that, she also asked for two trips to Argentina every year. Beatriz agreed to it, and Sofia told Nacho that she had to move to London for work. She moved into Beatriz’s house, situated on the outskirts of the city. Beatriz was a control freak. She liked staying in command. She had cameras all over her place. When Sofia realized that she had cameras, she asked her to remove them, at least the ones that were inside the house. Sofia didn’t want to be spied on. One day Sofia’s mobile disappeared. It was nowhere to be found. Sofia couldn’t talk to Nacho. He got all paranoid as it was pretty unusual for Sofia to not reply to his calls. Nacho was completely unaware of this arrangement. Sofia had only told him that she was going to London for work. It is pretty much possible that Beatriz was behind the disappearance of the mobile phone. She didn’t like it when she talked to Nacho. She felt that he would come and not let her take the baby. He was the father and legally he could do so.
Beatriz wanted the baby, and she didn’t want any sort of complications to arise in between. The paranoia that Beatriz was experiencing could be assessed by just looking at how particular she was with Sofia. She wanted her to exercise, eat, rest, and adhere to the advice of the family doctor. If the doctor said that Sofia had to do 50 laps of the swimming pool, Beatriz made sure that she did exactly the same. Beatriz had a network jammer in her house. She couldn’t stop Sofia from using her phone, but she could jam her network. Well, the question arises whether Beatriz wanted to kill Sofia after the pregnancy, or was it just Sofia’s fears that were making her paranoid. In all probability, Beatriz would have killed Sofia after she had given birth to her baby. When Beatriz was talking to her family doctor, Christina, we got to know what she thought of the situation that Sofia was in. Christina thought that it was a difficult position to be in. But Beatriz believed that Sofia was on a paid vacation and she had no reason to complain. She thought that the girl had everything that she once desired and her life had upgraded rather quickly and conveniently. Sofia did talk to Nacho and she broke down on the call. Beatriz didn’t like the idea of Sofia connecting to people from her past life. She sat in front of her while she talked to her boyfriend. It became very uncomfortable for Sofia. She even told Beatriz that the next time she talked to him, she would appreciate it if Beatriz wasn’t sitting on her head and noticing everything.
We get to know a lot about the intent of Sofia too. Sofia did not graduate from the universities as she had told in the interview. She didn’t hold a masters, and she had faked her whole portfolio. She wanted to earn quick money. If you see through her intentions, she didn’t mind if she was betraying Nacho, her boyfriend, or not. She did feel guilty, but as compared to the huge amount of money she was getting offered, the guilt didn’t last for long. Sofia was an opportunist, and she didn’t mind letting go of her morals and ethics if it took her closer to her aspirational life. But halfway through, Sofia realized that Beatriz was not somebody she pretended to be. There were layers that still needed to be peeled in order to get a look at her real intentions. Sofia started feeling claustrophobic because, evidently, her freedom was taken away from her. Beatriz never stopped her from leaving the premises, but Sofia knew that she couldn’t go out. The bars of the prison weren’t visible, but they did exist. Time and again, when Beatriz and Sofia entered into an argument, the former told the latter that she was free to leave, but it was not so. Beatriz had no intention of doing that, and she kept a check of all her activities. She even drugged her, as she felt that there was a chance that she might do something that didn’t align with the plan. Beatriz was obsessed with the idea of having this baby boy. She was paranoid that something would happen and she would be able to have him. She was observing that Sofia was becoming more restless than ever. She asked Christina, her family doctor, to perform a C-section before the due time. She knew that there were risks involved, but she was ready to take them. Christina and Beatriz, both lied to Sofia and told her that everything was so perfect that a C-section wouldn’t be fatal. But in reality, they weren’t sure about it.
Beatriz was a control freak, and it is established by the fact that she actually killed Nacho when he came to meet Sofia. Nacho had found out that Sofia hadn’t gone to London and was, in fact, in Madrid itself. Beatriz couldn’t accept the fact that Sofia might want to leave her captivity and maybe not be a part of the arrangement. She was least bothered about the legal implications and was just concerned about having this baby anyhow. She was getting obsessed as time passed. Sofia killed Beatriz because she realized that the woman would probably kill her after she had given birth to the baby. It couldn’t be said with certainty that Beatriz would have killed her, but Sofia had reasons to believe that she would do so. Sofia did want many things. She was an opportunist. She might have been a bit greedy in the past, but still, she was not obsessed with the idea. She was ready to let it all go if it became too toxic for her. Beatriz wasn’t like that. She was not ready to give up. She wanted the baby and was ready to go to any extent for the same.
In the end, we see that Sofia, after killing Beatriz, escapes from the facility she is trapped in. Her water broke, and we were left wondering if she was able to make it to the hospital or not. Nacho had been killed by Beatriz, and Sofia knew that it was highly improbable that she was going to find anybody who could help her in the deserted place. It couldn’t be denied that what Sofia did was unfair, by all means. She didn’t tell Nacho that she was pregnant, even though he wanted to have a baby and raise a family. It was her greed that drove her so far, and she was paying the price of it. Obviously, she didn’t sign up for the obsession and madness that she had to face, but she did want the money. She wanted to upgrade her lifestyle, and she didn’t mind if she had to take a few sly turns.