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God's Crooked Lines

Farhad Dalal
By-
Farhad Dalal
Rating
3.5 Star popcorn reviewss

Introduction

It is still a Wednesday and I have finished watching the new Spanish film God’s Crooked Lines which is streaming on Netflix. The one reason why I was drawn to this film was because the film was co-written and directed by Oriol Paulo, the brain behind films like The Invisible Guest, The Body and Mirage. Just like our very own Jeethu Joseph, Oriol is known to construct twisted thrillers that would often leave you dazed. Simply from a world building perspective, the man does know how to pace the screenplay and throw in the right mix of characters which would ultimately result in a mind-bending thriller. And I was expecting nothing short of brilliance from his new directorial venture, God’s Crooked Lines. Now that I have finished watching the film God’s Crooked Lines, here are my two cents on the same.

Story & Screenplay

God’s Crooked Lines follows the story of a private investigator who forges her case to get into a mental asylum in order to investigate a murder. What is the mystery behind it? The story has a perfect setting for a nail-biting whodunnit with the right amount of vagueness to keep the viewers conflicted. The screenplay standing at a shade above 150 minutes does make for a daunting watch and surely some parts of it could have been trimmed out. But there is enough in the drama to keep you hooked and booked.

The drama does open on an intriguing note wherein you are introduced to the protagonist who enters the asylum after charges of her poisoning her husband. From this point, there is a slow buildup for the next one hour wherein you are introduced to a host of characters as the writers make a considerable effort in building the world. Here I did feel that perhaps a good 10 minutes could have been trimmed down and still the end result wouldn’t have changed much. In between the world building, there is a parallel track that features a murder in a completely different setup. The viewer here is unaware of the timeline here or whether this was a standalone event altogether! In other words, there are two tracks unfolding – one featuring a murder and the other an investigation!

The urgency in the drama does kick in after the first 50 odd minutes when the picture begins to get a little clearer. The conflict that is created does make the drama even more convoluted in the viewer’s mind. Both sides of the argument do make perfect sense thereby leaving the viewer is a state of dizziness. The twists and turns will keep you at the edge of your seat during this terrific phase where the magic of Oriol Paulo kicks in resulting in the best hour of the film. You will find yourself second guessing yourself here¬† Even the parallel track eventually does find its way to the same timeline as the main plot but the resolution of it did seem half hearted and over simplistic.

Now I did have a bit of a problem with how Mirage had ended. The last few minutes just kept the drama lingering on for a tad too long. With 20 minutes to go and supposedly all the tracks having found a resolution, I was skeptical with what this drama had to offer and whether it was going the Mirage way. To be fair to me, it was up until the final 3 minutes that saw a twist coming out of nowhere. That twist did potentially turn the entire film on its head and fabulously so. The final act therefore has propelled the rating here in a drama which can best be termed as twisted, although it is easy to work your way back without much hurdles as there are clues thrown in throughout the narrative(and hence keeping the twist under wraps). Overall, the drama is twisted and really well written.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are conversational but well within the boundary of the drama. The music has a catchy 60s slasher vibe to it that goes perfectly with the drama. The BGM also is terrific and elevates the drama at several places. The cinematography is top notch and along with the lighting, does get the mood of the drama spot on. I did have some editing issues here especially in the first hour with the two timelines switching in a disjointed manner. Director Oriol Paulo scores yet again with another twisted display of a thriller that will potentially play mind games with you! His direction is terrific and he almost teases the audience by leading them one way before making a U-turn, often!

Performances

The performances are top notch here. Pablo Derqui as Urquieta is earnest and does a good job. Fedrico Aguado as Ruiperez has his moments to shine as does Javier Beltran as Arellano and Loreto Mauleon as Castell. Samuel Soler as Romulus and Remes is terrific with his mannerisms. Eduard Fernandez as Samuel Alvar is a perfect nemesis to the proragonist and he does a brilliant job. Barbara Lennie as Alice is the star of the show. She exudes of confidence and is one character which will keep you guessing simply because the film does unfold mostly through her gaze. She is outstanding here in a towering performance.

Conclusion

God’s Crooked Lines is another twisted investigative thriller from the mind of Oriol Paulo. Available on Netflix.

PS : Another Bollywood Remake May Well Be On Its Way!

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