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A Clever Mystery Thriller “The Body”

THE BODY poster USE

Review by John Delia

Steeped in mystery the crime thriller The Body leads viewers into a sordid crime that baffles to its twisted ending. All the clues are there, but your detection abilities are needed to figure this story out even if you have guessed right from the start.  If you are into crime stories that intrigue and compel, then you’ll want to see The Body.

The murder mystery starts out with a morgue caretaker running through the woods. Seemingly disoriented he nears a highway and gets killed.  Flash forward to the morgue where the forensic officer finds the body of socialite Mayka Villaverde (Belén Rueda) missing.  The puzzling case accelerates as Inspector Peña (José Coronado) starts rounding up suspects including the dead woman’s husband Alex (Hugo Silva).

Mayka Villaverde played by Belén Rueda in The Body

Mayka Villaverde played by Belén Rueda in The Body

Creating a slick film with a lot of plot twists screenwriter and director Oriol Paulo keeps his audience in the dark, slowly spooling out a very good guessing game. All the evidence is revealed in the first 40 minutes, yet it takes the whole movie to figure out the murder, motive and even the weapon.   I like a good thinking film and this one really gets cunning while it turns up the intrigue. I’m sure I guessed again and again but found myself doubting my choices as the movie progressed.

The acting clearly makes the mystery work from the cleaver inspector to the forensic pathologist they put on a good show. Paulo keeps several of his characters looking guilty even the most suspected, the husband Alex played well by Hugo Silva keeping his role never beyond suspicion. But it’s Coronado as the determined Inspector Pena that turns the plot inside out even enlisting Alex to help solve the crime.  Leaving no stone unturned, Pena plows though the final minutes until the final subtle twist.

Alex (Hugo Silva) and Inspector Peña (José Coronado)

Alex (Hugo Silva) and Inspector Peña (José Coronado)

Paulo uses clever flashbacks to show the main characters connection to the crime.  Each flashback creates suspicion on another person in the plot. Creating a lot of doubt, the viewer has to sum up each scene before more evidence points to another suspect. And, you’ll probably have to see it again to make sure you didn’t miss something in the beginning.  So, pay attention to detail or it will cost you another admission.

The Body has not been rated by the MPAA but does contain some violence, language and adult material.   Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that may be inappropriate.  The movie is in Spanish with English Subtitles.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Sharp twists make the film tantalizing. (B)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: José Coronado, Hugo Silva, Belén Rueda
Directed by: Oriol Paulo
Genre: Crime, Mystery Thriller
MPAA Rating: Unrated   
Running Time: 1 hr 48 min
Opening Date: August 2, 2013
Distributed by: Outsider Pictures

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