When I clicked Play on the movie and saw that it was about 2 hrs and 30 minutes long, my heart sank. A film of that length being entertaining and engaging throughout its runtime is seldom seen nowadays. But God's Crooked Lines, directed by Oriol Paulo, proved to be an exception to the rule. It's thoroughly engaging and yet still has its flaws.
Based on a book of the same title by Torcuato Luca de Tena, God's Crooked Lines is a thriller that will keep you hooked till the last scene plays out. At the very beginning of the film, we see Alice Gould (Bárbara Lennie), a private detective, check herself into a mental hospital to get to the root of her client's son's murder that took place there.
As you might expect, in a setting where no one's mental faculties are working properly, the atmosphere is ripe for confusion and misunderstanding. And even though we see the events of the film through the eyes of our protagonist, as time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult to trust her version of events. By the second half of the film, I was asking myself who can be narratively trusted, and the answer is- no one.
What aids this distrust is also the time this movie is set in. The film takes place in 1979, a time when mental illnesses as well as women were treated very differently. And the film is cognizant of that as we question why some patients are even there. Are they there due to their appearance or because they have some underlying issues?
In the hospital, we meet a whole host of characters, more colorful than the last and sometimes caricaturish as well. And while Alice is easily the best-written character, I yearned to see that depth in some of the others.
The film cuts between the past and the present to tell us what happened and how it happened while we follow Alice's investigations. However, those time shifts are not always flawlessly executed. I had to pause the movie sometimes to arrange the timeline in my head. However, they aren't so haphazard that you will lose the narrative threads of the plotlines.
God's Crooked Lines also has its fair share of plot holes that takes away from the immersion into the story. And my attention dipped when the bricks of the mystery weren't stacking perfectly to create the ideal murder.
However, the film features enough twists and turns to keep audiences engaged for the entire duration, especially the last scene will leave you gobsmacked. And I must mention the cinematography and music that aids in that immersive experience. Technically, the movie is perfect and a visual treat for the eyes.
Overall, don't give this movie a miss due to its runtime or little plot holes. It's well worth your time if you are looking for a well-done mystery thriller to spend your Friday with.
Final Score – [7/10]
Reviewed by - Ishita Chatterjee
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Publisher at Midgard Times
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