The Invisible Guest
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The Invisible Guest

A car crash on a twisting, lonely back Captain Fantastic road triggers a pile-up of twisting and turning events in Oriol Paulo’s satisfyingly crafted thriller The Invisible Guest, the follow-up to his acclaimed The Body. Paulo may indeed be incidentally interested in themes such as the shifting truth, justice and the way arrogant, powerful people react to losing control of their lives, but he’s far more interested in keeping the viewer engaged and breathless. This he does very well, indeed. But in this tricksiest of films, psychological depth is as invisible as the titular guest.

That said, offshore business is likely for Guest. The Shape of WaterIt’s the kind of stylishly packaged project, designed for global appeal, which could easily stand a remake, and suggests that Paulo, who on this evidence has a formidable command of the dynamics of thriller making, might be positioning himself to follow the likes of Alejandro Amenabar and Juan Antonio Bayona and take a stab at the U.S. market.

Following an apparent blackmail attempt — there’s a lot about Guest that is “apparent” or “seeming” — successful businessman Adrian Doria (Mario Casas, an actor who could have made a successful living as a pretty-boy hunk, but who prefers to take roles — with varying success — which will challenge him as an actor) is found in a locked hotel room with the dead body of his lover, fashion photographer Laura Vidal (Barbara Lennie, doing a modern-day femme fatale to follow her winsome turn in Nelly Regueras’ Maria (And the Others)). This very contemporary film has its roots in such classic fare as The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Agatha Christie, and John Dickson Carr’s locked-room mystery masterpiece, The Hollow Man.

To help him out, Doria hires the silver-gray haired, renowned witness preparation expert Virginia Goodman (Ana Wagener, a fine actress whose moment finally has come); and their face-to-faces as they circle the truth are among the film’s most memorable. Because a last-minute witness is threatening to show up at the soon-to-start trial The Secret Life of Pets with damning new evidence, they have three hours, as Goodman’s stopwatch literally clicks away, to come up with a defense — the Spanish title, meaning setback, translates literally as “against time.” And Goodman actually doesn’t believe a word of Doria’s blackmail story.

Duration: 106 min

Release:

IMDb: 8.1

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The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest
The Invisible Guest