‘Um Contraatempo’: the exception to the cliché thriller rule

‘Um Contraatempo’: the exception to the cliché thriller rule

After following all the instructions given to him, Adrián Doria (Mário Casas) wakes up in a hotel room with his lover, Laura Vidal (Bárbara Lennie), dead on a floor covered in money in the bathroom of the room, his life changes completely. All the evidence against him and his extramarital affair revealed, Adrián collapses. His reputation as a great businessman was no longer the same and one of his pillars – his wife and daughter – no longer supported him.

Trying to prove his innocence and with the date of his trial coming, his conviction almost certain, he has little choice but to trust his lawyer and hire Virginia Goodman (Ana Wagener) to help him put together a perfect alibi that would make with him to be absolved of his possible crimes.

In the middle of a frank conversation with the woman who could save him from a life sentence, Adrián reveals something that happens months before the tragedy, something that can pull him further down the well, beyond his entire relationship. and Laura’s behavior.

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In 180 minutes, secrets are revealed and several versions of a suit are exposed to the table. Questions are raised: If not Adrian, then who killed Laura? What happened months ago? Whose fault is it really? Time passes quickly between flashback and another, a disappearance of a man appears in the conversation. From that moment on, the plot gains more emotion.

Because there are more than one, some flashbacks are needed in the narration and each recovery from the past is different. This is due to different perspectives on a dark subject from Adrian and Laura’s past. Each return to the past is a different story with different narrators, sometimes who narrates – indirectly – it is Laura, other times, it is Adrian and, sometimes, it is Adrian narrating for Laura. This type of technique used by the director can cause confusion when following the story, if you do not watch the film carefully and attentively. And, focusing on the possible problem of the viewer’s confusion, some of these falshbacks were not really necessary.

With every second that passes, more secrets and details are revealed as well. The soundtrack, the filming plan and the color composition of the scene – mostly black, gray in scenes from the present and blue, dark blue, green and light green in scenes from the past – contribute to the formation of several climaxes and help in the suspense.

In his first version, Adrián remembers little of what happened. He and Laura took a train, went to the indicated hotel with their briefcase full of money. Money that would be to pay the person who threatened to take the case of the two to the media. Everything was in compliance until a message arrives on your cell phone, the sender being Laura’s cell phone. However, she was in front of him without any electronics. At that moment, Laura and Adrián realize that they are in a trap.

As he takes the money, Laura heads for the toilet. When taking the suitcase from the closet and walking towards the mirror, Adrián extinguishes with a blow to the back of the head. Next, it shows Laura being killed and recognizing her killer before her end. After that, the only memory he has is of waking up with the police.

This narrative good enough to endure the film is questioned by Virginia. Question after question, the climate intensifies and the tension increases. The lawyer pulls out tiny details from Adrián and it is because of these details that they are magnificent. The closer to the outcome, the more truths are pulled out and the more doubts arise, however, they are all resolved in a single scene.

The Spanish suspense was recorded in 2016, under the direction of Oriol Paulo, but gained more visibility when entering the Netflix this year, due to the expansion of reach that the online platform allows. With 67% approval from the critic and 85% from the public, () innovates, in several aspects, from the means of producing a suspense to the techniques of arresting the public until the last moment.

Many critics compare the film to the successes of Hitchcock and the thrillers of Agatha Christie. As confusing as it may seem at first, in the end, everything will make sense. What is enchanting is to discover, in the last minutes of filming, that everything, exactly everything, even the smallest details were thought so that, in the end, everything would make sense.

If you are going to watch this movie, pay attention to them so you don’t get lost and go with an open mind. The film changed the way of viewing Netflix suspense films, breaking with the catchphrase of: there is only bad film and with weak suspense plot on Netflix.

Movie A Hitch

Synopsis and trailer

Everything is going very well for Adrian Doria (Mario Casas). His business is a success and brought him wealth, his beautiful wife had the perfect child, and his lover is fine with their affair hidden. Everything is fine until Doria wakes up in a hotel room, after being hit in the head, and finds her lover dead in the bathroom, covered with a lot of euro notes. Worse, the room is locked from the inside and has no way of entering or leaving. With everything she built collapsing at her feet, Doria turns to Spain’s best defense lawyer, Virginia Goodman (Ana Wagener), and they try to find out what really happened the night before.


Original title:
Duration: 110 minutes
Launch: September 22, 2017 (Brazil)
Directed by: Oriol Paulo
Classification: 14 years
Genre: Police, Suspense
Country of origin: Spain