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THE INVISIBLE GUEST (Spanish) - A not to be missed, well-made clever film deserving your time and attention. (Review by Bobby Sing)

21 Jan, 2019 | Movie Reviews / 2016 Releases

A Spanish Crime thriller with the original title CONTRATIEMPO meaning setback, THE INVISIBLE GUEST is one of those extremely clever and well made films that constantly trick their viewers with many sharp, unexpected twists. And then the climax forces them to go for it again, right from the beginning, catching the clues left which they strangely couldn’t spot in the first viewing.
Commencing with a calm & long interrogation, the exciting ride begins after a while and then keeps excelling with its every next development bringing in a fresh twist. The well shot and brilliantly conceived sequences are slow yet highly tense keeping you thoroughly engaged and the outstanding background score provides an extra edge to the proceedings adding to the mystery involved. Particularly the way music becomes an integral part of every major sequence with a mix of natural and added sounds is a treat to watch. 
Written and directed by Oriol Paulo, this is actually a film that smartly plays a mind game with the viewer right from its first sequence and even the real meaning of the title becomes clear post watching its unusual climax. The writer-director beautifully builds up the suspense with his repeated flashbacks introducing a new dimension every time and the viewer is left guessing enjoying the element of shock. A technically sound film, THE INVISIBLE GUEST can also be quoted as a stylishly presented crime drama having a classy visual touch along with worth praising, powerful performances by Mario Casas, Ana Wagener, Jose Coronado and more.
But at the same time, it might also become predictable after an hour or so for a few smart viewers. Frankly, I got successfully tricked by the progression but couldn’t get convinced by the film's climax . Without revealing the twist, its sudden finale turns out to be quite filmy as a disappointment taking a big cinematic liberty, which usually happens to be the last resort of mystery writers to be honest. Moreover, one misses the characters strongly feeling and emotionally reacting to their big individual losses. The psychological depth in their responses to the cruel happening in their lives is not really satisfying (mostly are so cold blooded humans). And the film completely remains dependent on the constant twists and turns to convince, engage and win over the interested viewers.  
Having said that, in case you buy the final twist, the film will surely be a great cinematic experience as a crime mystery thriller, but even if you don’t (like myslef), it still remains a well-made clever film that certainly deserves your time and attention without any doubt. So do watch it as a must for its exceptional merits, story development and the key performances successfully tricking the unaware viewers. 
Rating : 4 / 5
(At the time of writing this piece, THE INVISIBLE GUEST (Spanish) is available at Netflix with English Subtitles and with a different more convincing climax, it surely would have been included in the MOVIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE list at the site in the suspense category. Sadly it just misses that inclusion due to its typical filmy climax)
Note : Reportedly there is an official remake being made in Hindi with the title of BADLA directed by Sujoy Ghosh. Strangely the title in Hindi itself reveals a lot of its shocking suspense which isn’t the case with the original. In fact the Spanish film has a very smart and intelligently chosen title in English as THE INVISIBLE GUEST, the secret of which one only comes to know after watching the film.
Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu play its key characters in the Hindi adaptation and I am really thinking how are they going to tackle its climax differently and will they go for a change in its avoidable revealing title too before the film’s theatrical release?

Will be interesting to see Ghosh’s Indian version targeting the Hindi film viewers! 

Tags : THE INVISIBLE GUEST (Spanish) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New World Cinema Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Suspense Thrillers in World Cinema, Sujoy Ghosh BADLA
21 Jan 2019 / Comments ( 4 )
Rajeev Roshan

A well written article and review of this movie. I was not aware about this movie but now I will watch this and share my view with you. 

Bobby Sing

Thanks for your kind words Rajeev.
And will be waiting for your views once you watch it too.

Gobindpreet Singh Gupta

Well written review. Was unaware that Badla is a remake of this movie. Will be curious to see how they tackle the climax of the original.

Bobby Sing

Thanks for your appreciation Gobindpreet Singh and it will indeed be interesting to see how they tackle the climax when the actors are all known and easily recoganisable.


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