A young businessman wakes up in a hotel room locked from the inside with the dead body of his lover next to him. He hires a prestigious lawyer, and over one night they work together to clarify what happened in a frenetic race against time.
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With more twists and turns than an aerobics class, Contratiempo is an always engaging, sumptuous looking and well acted classical thriller. The score is full, lensing superb and the production design considered. Where the film falters a little is in the last major scene of lawyer interrogation where the repetition of alternatives becomes too much. However the strong finish leaves this easily overlooked. 3.5 stars
Now this is my ScandiNoir of the year, even though it's in snowy mountainous Spain but whatever. It lacks the emotional stringpulling that truly pushes a thriller from good to great, but the puzzle is damn satisfying, and the framing device is fantastic: the whole present action is set in a single room, the rest being a telling of past events, the twists & turns unfolding from narration,which may or not be reliable.
unreliable narrators (once again!) to create a false sense of suspense and mystery. if you're watching it, look carefully for the details. don't watch the trailer, all you need to know is the film is mainly about a man talking with his lawyer, 2.8
... or the temptation of the perfect whodunit... Oriol Paulo may have been trying much too hard to confuse the audience with more and more twists to the point of total improbability. The plot is structured as a series of 'objective' hypotheses (or lies), but the trick wears thin and we eventually just give up in total disbelief, as we would with someone who strives to convince by making up new lies.
I don't know whether this is intelligent or not, but for me it is dishonest. The problem is that the constant lies we are told (which I enjoyed up to a certain point) was being told from an objective point of view, not the point of view of one subject. So, the more it twisted, the more it sank into the bottom; not the other way round