The Good, The Bad and The Liar

The third age is winning over the ground for action. We have just talked The Laundromat, and here we go again: bluffing, fraud, money, detective thrills and elderly characters to steal the limelight. The Good Liar is of that kind of films that are to be the talk of the town on the one hand with no single spoiler on the other, quite a task for a reviewer. Anyway, I`ll try, and this time – through the prism of comparison. No matter if you have seen the film or not, just imagine what if… What if the lead part were portrayed by Geoffrey Rush instead of Ian McKellen? This is not an ‘unknown fact about the movie’, it`s just my imagination. The Good Liar keeps the audience in the same expectant suspense compatible to The Best Offer (La migliore offerta) where Rush brilliantly starred in back in 2012, we shared this first-come association with our BlogProFilm reviewers and some of our readers, and this turned out to be the one of the striking pluses about the film. Being a multi-layer puzzle of such level is always a promising start for a detective story.

Right, the detective story. Don`t be deceived with the ads you`ve probably seen or read, there`s nothing of a cotton-candy love story of two long retired singles, neither is it a plain bluffing plot about how to make fool of a rich widow. Starting exactly as a bluffing love story, The Good Liar unwinds to show that the perfect match (or quite the opposite, upon your choice) may involve some hidden ingredients to create the overwhelming alchemy of a British-style thriller. Performance of the two stars mixed with some flashbacks and dualism in everything we see on screen makes the film spinning like a spiral of history in some alternative theories of everything. Simple decorations, limited color palette, no wasted effects, the tense moment of truth-false relationship is supported by gestures and emotions only – isn`t it good to see pure acting?

©Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The parallel with The Best Offer appears in mind once you see Ian McKellen`s character`s impersonations, he changes his faces as smooth as British weather tunes from rain to sunshine and back to foggy mist. Overestimating himself as a flawless liar leads him to fatal mistakes as Geoffrey Rush`s Virgil fell in the riddle of deceit due to his own curiosity and breaking his own rules. Whose fortress is gonna fall, who`s the hunter, who`s the prey, and why, and when – that`s a set of questions on the top of the criminal cake, in fact expired decades ago. Helen Mirren, who had an HBO experience this year to create another royal portrayal (this time – Russian Empress Catherine the Great), brings a bit of her signature royal charm in her role in The Good Liar too, she may seem so different, varying from naïve to cruel, from soft-hearted to unpredictable, from hardly rational to suspicious. Quite a frenemy to Ian McKellen and his mastermind behind all this. Again, another duo to this year collection.



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