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Film Review: “The Invisible Guest” (2016) ★★★★★


What distinguishes a good detective story from an average one? An average one offers crime scenes with a body, a primary suspect, and evidence that needs to be gathered to uncover a possible motive. But a good one will take you right to the crime scene, will show a body, and even point out right at the suspect with a seemingly obvious motive. But once it presents one element that not often appears in a detective story, the same motive can be multiplied in five or ten, and you as a viewer will have to figure which one sounds more realistic and which one does not. But whatever you do, Oriol Paulo’s “The Invisible Guest” will beat any of your theories.

A decade of hard work may amount to nothing as a successful entrepreneur named Adrián Doria (Mario Casas) with unsurpassable reputation awaits for a life-defining trial, in which he’s expected to defend himself against the accusation of murder of his lover, Laura Vidal (Barbara Lennie). The best lawyer, Virginia Goodman (Ana Wagener), has only one hundred and eighty minutes to build a perfect defense to win the case.

However, the appearance of a mysterious witness may complicate Adrián’s situation, who begins paying close attention to his defendant and begins a fascinating cycle of various scenarios that anyone can pick. Virginia Goodman is precise in her demands – she wants nothing to be hidden and expects her client to tell her the truth only. But that truth will appear to have many faces, timelines, and turnarounds that will make it hard for the viewer to predict the ending, or whether Adrián Doria killed Laura, and if yes, then why?

“The Invisible Guest” is a highly suspenseful crime thriller that offers a bunch of clues that serves its own purpose, and sometimes against Adrián Doria himself. As I try not to spoil much from the plot and refrain mentioning certain names and a background story of what really happened before the actual murder, films like this must be seen in order to realize how astonishing it is by all means. Mario Casas as Adrián Doria, Ana Wagener as Virginia Goodman, Barbara Lennie as Laura Vidal, and Jose Coronado as Tomas Garrido deliver outstanding performances that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The screenplay written by Oriol Paulo, who directs the film as well, is masterful and will probably make the entire Hollywood stop making crime thrillers because whatever they do from now on, it will be hard to beat Paulo. That said, there’s a lot to grasp in “The Invisible Guest”, but one thing is certain – no matter what you do with the truth or lie, never put them together in the same room. Because as soon as they begin their fight to come to light, it will be a battle of the century, and as we all would hope, the good will prevail. But will it in Paulo’s film or not, I would highly recommend you to leave whatever you have planned for tonight and watch it as soon as possible to learn it yourself. It’s really worth it.

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