The Good Liar opens with a reserved wealthy
Next scene shows Roy as a ruthless con man who bilks people out of their money, with no remorse. Betty, who lives alone in a quiet suburb on the outskirts of London, is clearly being set up to be Roy’s next mark. What follows, plays out as one would expect in a movie described as “suspenseful”.
Roy trips and hurts his leg, and Betty is there to assist. Against the advice of her grandson who drops by occasionally, Betty invites Roy to live with her, making it clear she isn’t interested in a sexual relationship. She has a large house with an extra bedroom. Simply put, she has her
Of course, there’s something else going on. Especially when Vincent (Roy’s “money manager” and a fellow con man) visits and encourages Betty to pool her finances with Roy’s for a better monetary return … and Betty agrees.
That’s where the movie (more than two-thirds in) finally picks up speed and takes an unpredictable and very complex turn. With a backstory set during World War II, The Good Liar turns out not to be a love story, or a tale about a con artist meeting his match. No, it’s one of very dark retribution.
Stewart and I left the theater wanting more, but not sure what “more” we wanted. The climax of the story felt rushed, with the loose ends verbally tied together at the end. So, although it was a treat to watch Award-winning actors Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Ian McKellen play a cat and mouse game on screen (their acting was excellently nuanced), we hesitate to say The Good Liar is a must see.
Cast: Dame Helen Mirren as Betty, Sir Ian McKellen as Roy, Russell Tovey as Vincent (money manager-con man), Jim Carter as grandson, Mark Lewis Jones, Céline Buckens, Nell Williams, Phil Dunster, Laurie Davidson, Jóhannes Kaukur Jóhannesson. Based on the novel by Nicholas Searle, Movie screenplay by Jeffrey Hatcher, Directed by Bill Condon