God's Crooked Lines (2022) - Movie Review
Over the years, the asylum-set psychological thriller has already been fleshed out through great movies like Shutter Island and Stonehearst Asylum. It is only natural that the audience would draw parallels between God’s Crooked Lines and these two films. However, this Spanish thriller still managed to hold its own and bring about its own unique take in this genre.
Plot and pacing
God’s Crooked Lines is definitely another brilliant thriller by Oriol Paulo, after The Invisible Guest. The entire film was engaging and the plot did not falter at any moment. In fact, it kept the audience guessing at all times between who to trust, Alice Gould or Dr. Alvar. This was a consistent theme right till the ending, which could be argued as pretty open-ended for the audience.
Although it spanned 2 hour 35 mins, God’s Crooked Lines managed to grip the audience at every twist and turn. Perhaps because the first act felt a lot like Shutter Island, the audience feels the need to pay closer attention to every detail presented. Personally, the film did not even feel that long to me as I was glued to the screen the entire time.
All the multiple plot points was intentional to heightening the mystery and allowing us to get to know the characters better. The multiple timelines did feel unnecessary after finishing the movie. However, it does add a certain layer of satisfaction for the audience as they figured out that the fire event was a flashforward instead of a flashback.
Characters and Cast
A film like this would definitely need a solid cast to bring the entire film to life. And of course, the cast of this film brought their A game and did not falter.
Bárbara Lennie, as Alice Gould de Almenara, was a treat to watch. She embodied the entire character’s delusional, twisted yet confident manner and brought it to life on screen. Alice controlled her interactions with the different people in the asylum in order to get what she wants. For example, she spoke in a softer, more pleading tone towards Dr Castell, and this in turn allowed the doctor to feel more connected to her and allow her special treats, like bringing in that extra book to her cell. Meanwhile, Alice is confident and somewhat smug towards Dr Arellano who was runnign some tests on her, so that Dr. Arellano is more inclined to believe her private detective persona.
Eduard Fernández also played a huge part as Dr. Samuel Alvar, who acted as the antagonist to Bárbara‘s character. He captured the professionalism of the doctor really well on top of making the doctor as stoic as possible to keep the audience guessing on the doctor’s true intention.
A memorable thriller to recommend!