God’s Crooked Lines review: Exhilarating thriller keeps you guessing

‘God’s Crooked Lines’ (Los renglones torcidos de Dios) is a Spanish psychological thriller that follows a woman named Alice Gould. She is a private investigator who infiltrates a facility for the mentally ill to solve a case. However, once inside, she must find a way to prove to the authorities that she isn’t a patient.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Story

God’s Crooked Lines is set in 1979. A woman named Alice Gould gets admitted to a mental health facility after trying to poison her husband and being diagnosed with paranoia by their doctor.

It is later revealed that she is a private investigator who has infiltrated the institution to investigate the death of a young man. Her client is a man named Dr. del Olmo, the victim’s father. This whole plan is hatched in collaboration with the Director of the facility, Dr. Alvar.

Unfortunately, to keep her case confidential, she doesn’t reveal the nature of her next assignment to her husband and gets the admission form signed discreetly.

She even forges a fake letter from their family doctor stating that she is a compulsive liar to make her case seem more believable. Unfortunately, things get out of hand when Alvar claims to be unaware of any such arrangement, and no one can prove her side of the story.

Now stuck in there as a patient, Alice must find a way to prove that she is not mentally ill.

Performances

Bárbara Lennie leads the film as Alice Gould and is spectacular in it. Her performance carries the narrative and adds another layer of brilliance to it.

Even when she isn’t speaking, Lennie uses her expressions with such control that it is impossible to guess if she’s being truthful or suffering from an illness.

The rest of the cast gives commendable performances as well. Eduard Fernández as Dr. Alvar, Loreto Mauleón as Montse, Javier Beltrán as César, Pablo Derqui as Ignacio, and Samuel Soler as the twins, stand out.

All of these characters are intriguing and the actors do justice to these roles.

Positives

God’s Crooked Lines is a well-crafted psychological mystery. Its best quality is its ability to keep you guessing till the very last minute. The plot is complicated, engaging, and doesn’t drag at any point.

It will make you question your own thinking process at times, as it is nearly impossible to guess the ending. Speaking of which, the open-ended conclusion is a welcome one. It almost reveals all the answers but lets you put in the last piece of the puzzle yourself.

The film subtly also presents a commentary on the perception of mental health in the ’70s, the blasphemous living conditions of mentally disturbed patients, and the underlying hint of discrimination against women. However, it remains true to the mystery and never tries to preach anything.

In addition, the setting, mood, cinematography, and background score are top-notch. The film oozes a haunting beauty as the picturesque locations mask a terrible ordeal.

Negatives

God’s Crooked Lines suffers from poor editing and narrative choices. It tries to misdirect the audience via unexplained time jumps, making it difficult to follow the story.

During the first half of the film, the plot randomly switches to a night when a person is killed in the facility on a rainy night. You would assume that it happened in the past and is probably the case Alice is investigating.

However, it turns out that they are snippets from the future. Specifically, the night when Alice starts a fire and instigates chaos to escape. This is when you realize that the murdered person is one of the twins.

This whole narrative choice adds nothing to the mystery except confusion. If anything, it presents many loopholes in the otherwise intriguing thriller.

Verdict

God’s Crooked Lines is an expertly curated psychological mystery. Despite its slightly confusing narrative, it will keep you hooked till the very last second and delivers a satisfying conclusion. Furthermore, Bárbara Lennie’s brilliant performance is a bonus.

God's Crooked Lines
God's Crooked Lines review: Exhilarating thriller keeps you guessing 1

Director: Oriol Paulo

Date Created: 2022-12-10 11:21

Editor's Rating:
3.5

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