The Invisible Guest (Contratiempo): Spanish Movie Review

On the surface, The Invisible Guest seemed like an ordinary whodunit movie. A rich and influential businessman Adrian Doria (Mario Casas) is accused or murdering his lover and only has a few hours left to form an airtight alibi to keep him out of jail. It seems simple enough but the plot is filled with twists, turns and speedbumps galore that you won’t even know what hit you by its end.

The brilliance of this Spanish film lies in its ability to set the stage for multiple possibilities. Because things were simultaneously happening at the same time and audiences only have to rely on Adrian’s version of events, its pretty tough to figure out where the next bombshell is going to come from.

I liked the fact that there were many layers in the story. The loopholes in the tale serve only to harbor more doubts as the film delves deeper into what happened to the victim Daniel Garrido.

The whodunit approach in Adrian’s narration and Virginia Goodman’s sharp questions set the stage for an intense analysis of what transpired during the fateful accident. Was Laura (Barbara Lennie) or Tomas Garrido (Jose Coronado) the true culprit? Was there another party who was involved? The mysteries keep on coming and with different versions of the events, the clock continues to tick for the witness preparation expert and her client.

Even by its end, there could still be questions on the real version of events, as it goes with the most interesting tales.

Kudos to the casting for picking actors that brought the story to life in all of the versions of the story. They were very convincing in all of their roles, especially Dani’s family. Hero or villain, everyone pulled their weight and that final reveal was The Usual Suspects level, which is pretty high praise because I think one the Kevin Spacey starrer was one of the best of its genre.

For a movie that had limited locations, a small number of actors and a rather limited budget, director Oriol Paulo truly did a magnificent job with this compelling mystery. The Invisible Guest will definitely keep you on your toes until the very last second. Catch it on Netflix.