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'The Good Liar' review: Impressive tale of revenge, Mirren and McKellen are a pleasure to watch

The unconvincing climax spoils what could have been an interesting end.

ET Bureau|
Dec 02, 2019, 11.24 AM IST
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Agencies
Based on a novel by Nicholas Searle, 'The Good Liar' is an impressively woven tale of revenge and con.
Based on a novel by Nicholas Searle, 'The Good Liar' is an impressively woven tale of revenge and con.
Film: The Good Liar
Genre: Drama,Thriller
Rating:
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Helen Mirren,Ian McKellen,Russell Tovey
Based on a novel by Nicholas Searle, 'The Good Liar' is an impressively woven tale of revenge and con, where the manipulation comes across as intriguing. Veteran actors Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen are a pleasure to watch, both for their performances and on-screen pairing, a first in their decades-long careers.

The story begins in London when a recently-widowed septuagenarian Betty McLeish (Mirren) sets up a date with a chivalrous gentleman named Roy Courtnay (McKellen), using an online dating service. They meet in person for the first time at a local café from where the story of deception starts.

Professional conman Courtnay, assisted by partner-in-crime Vincent (Jim Carter), develops a bond with McLeish over multiple dates and finds her an easy potential victim. McLeish soon lets Courtnay move into her lovely house apparently blind to the web of lies around her. But soon, tables are turned, which brings many twists and turns along the way.

Mirren’s and McKellen’s characters are kept light-hearted to make them appear more realistic than the ones they usually play. The suspenseful screenplay makes Searle’s classic exciting for a modern audience. The plot, however, is simplistic.

Among the supporting cast, Carter shines as Courtnay’s sly accomplice, while Russell Tovey stands out as McLeish’s suspicious grandson Steven, who is a perpetual thorn for Courtnay. But the movie’s unconvincing climax spoils what could have been an interesting end.

Watch the trailer below:



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