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The Good Liar

A good liar is one able to convincingly sell fiction. Their expertise in crafting compelling narratives can see them seize fortunes. Films and TV shows have made a virtue of crafty liars with ‘The Sting’, ‘Minder’ and ‘Hustle’ among them. ‘The Good Liar’ joins this list of dubious salespeople proving you should always be on guard for wayward people who revel in the art of the con.

Always on the hunt for his next prey, career conman Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) chooses his next target - a wealthy widow Betty (Helen Mirren). Meeting her via an online dating site, Roy begins courting Betty with words of love and adoration. Any good purveyor of lies needs to watch out for traps with all not what it seems in the world of spinning tall tales.

Based on Nicholas Searle’s book, ‘The Good Liar’ sparkles under Bill Condon’s solid direction. Almost everything works including the accomplished performances and smartly written screenplay. As with any finely tuned thriller, ‘The Good Liar’ successfully keeps you guessing until the end. Whilst at times the story follows a familiar path, it offers several genuinely unexpected and dark surprises.

McKellen and Mirren provide their usual strong acting. It’s always a pleasure seeing performers of their calibre put their all into crafting an arresting tale. To say anymore would spoil things but from the costuming and subtle music score, the road towards the conclusion is as pleasurable as the wicked cons on display.

It would be a lie saying this is a bad movie as ‘The Good Liar’ wraps its tight tale around you with ease. Puzzle enthusiasts should have a field day deciphering clues to what exactly is happening. It’s advisable to pay attention as the plot effectively weaves away like a magician’s sleight of hand.

Rating out of 10: 7

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