The Good Liar (2019)

The Good Liar
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Jeffrey Hatcher
Based on: Nicholas Searle’s novel
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Lewis Jones, Laurie Davidson, Phil Dunster, Lucian Msamati
Seen on: 13.12.2019

Content Note: rape

Plot:
Betty (Helen Mirren) meets Roy (Ian McKellen) online and soon a romantic relationship starts between the two of them. Betty’s grandson Stephen (Russell Tovey) is a little suspicious of Roy, and rightly so: Roy is a con artist out to relieve Betty of her money. But maybe this time, he actually starts to have feeling for Betty. And maybe Betty isn’t quite as naive as she seems at first.

You’d think that Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen starring in a film together is all you need to make great entertainment, but The Good Liar proves that a bad story can ruin even that pairing.

The film poster showing Betty (Helen Mirren) and Roy (Ian McKellen). She is wearing a white coat in front of a white background, he is wearing a black suite in front of a black background.

[SPOILERS]

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Amadeus

Amadeus
Director: Michael Longhurst
Writer: Peter Shaffer
Cast: Lucian Msamati, Adam Gillen, Karla Crome, Fleur de Bray, Geoffrey Beevers, Hugh Sachs
Seen on: 2.2.2017

Plot:
Antonio Salieri (Lucian Msamati) looks back on his life, especially his relationship with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Adam Gillen). When Mozart arrived at court, Salieri was already a well-established musician. Mozart’s genius swept Vienna, and his music deeply impresses Salieri. But Mozart the man turns out to be a disappointment, pushing Salieri into a deep crisis: why was this simpering fool graced with such musical talent, and he himself wasn’t?

Amadeus is an interesting production of a good (albeit historically inaccurate) play that suffers, though, from its take on Mozart.

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Othello

Othello
Director: Iqbal Khan
Writer: William Shakespeare
Cast: Hugh Quarshie, Lucian Msamati, Joanna Vanderham, Ayesha Dharker, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, James Corrigan, Scarlett Brookes, Brian Protheroe
Seen on: 26.8.2015

Plot:
When Iago (Lucian Msamati) doesn’t get the promotion he expected from his superior, Othello (Hugh Quarshie), but instead has to watch the younger Cassio (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) getting promoted above him, he decides to have his revenge on Othello and Cassio. He uses the people around him to make Othello insanely jealous of his wife Desdemona (Joanna Vanderham). He spins intrigue after intrigue and, as can be expected, things don’t end well.

Othello is basically the classic play about race relations and since it was done many times already, people like to switch it around. The last time I saw it [if you don’t count the re-write I saw] (which was many years ago and still has one of the most mind-boggling casts I ever saw on stage), everybody but Iago and Desdemona was a person of color, this time they made Iago black to see what changes. And while I like the thought of that experiment, I didn’t like this production of the play. It was way too boring.

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