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God's Crooked Lines is a 2022 Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Oriol Paulo and starring Bárbara Lennie. Written by Oriol Paulo and Guillem Clua with the collaboration of Lara Sendim, the screenplay is an adaptation of the 1979 novel of the same name by Torcuato Luca de Tena. The plot follows Alice Gould (Lennie), a woman entering a psychiatric ward in order to investigate the mysterious circumstances pertaining a death in the facility.
In 1979, Alice Gould de Almenara enters a psychiatric ward. Left at the gates by a man, she is interrogated by Dr. Ruipérez, who reads a letter by Dr. Donadío. Alice insists that she has been "legally abducted" by her husband Heliodoro so he could seize her riches. Dr. Castell introduces the facility to Alice, who begins to do investigative fieldwork on the death of Dr. Raimundo García del Olmo's son Damián. Alice (or Alicia) gets acquainted with Ignacio Urquieta and the twins (Rómulo and Remo) as well as the Gnome, a sexual molester protected by the Elephant Man, who shows animosity towards Rómulo. Alice attends sessions by Dr. Arellano.
Running along the primary timeline, a secondary timeline starts in a rainy night, in which a fire and riot take place and a corpse is found in one of the cells. In this timeline Urquieta is incriminated by the cops (after which a forensic doctor also comes into action) and later cleared from suspicions.
In the main timeline, Urquieta is interrogated by Alicia whether if he suffers from schizophrenia, the condition Alice believes Damián's killer suffers from. It starts raining and it becomes evident that Urquieta suffers from an irrational fear of water. Urquieta later reveals that Damián was at odds with the Gnome.
Alicia is hit in the forest by the Gnome, waking up tied to a bed with Arellano telling her she is the presumed killer of the Gnome although she has trouble remembering what happened after the hit. Alice personally meets Director Samuel Alvar, claiming that she has already exchanged letters with him upon guidance from García del Olmo so she could know how to enter the institution. Alvar denies this. Alicia attacks Alvar and tries to escape, only to be sedated.
Alicia tells Castell her suspicions about Damián's murder and asks for a meeting of the medical council. Alvar claims that Alice has been interned upon recommendation by Donadío on behalf of Heliodoro. She claims that she tricked Ruipérez and feigned a mental illness to enter the facility, telling how she met García del Olmo and set out an investigation to determine what happened to Damián. How García del Olmo gave her instructions that she should feign a condition of paranoia to be able to enter the facility and how they managed to get Donadío to attest her condition and Heliodoro to sign the permission to withhold her. Alvar tells that Alice, offended because the man she chose to marry only wanted her money, tried to kill him by poisoning; Heliodoro, after recovering from a seizure, found Alice hiding poison; and knowing herself caught, she decided to fabricate a private investigator persona.
After failing to identify a man whom Alvar identifies as García del Olmo, Alice is electro-shocked, and taken to the Cage, where she becomes convinced that she has been framed by Heliodoro, who hired someone to impersonate García del Olmo. She tells Arellano and Castell that in case her bank accounts are emptied there can be a plausible explanation for the behaviour of Heliodoro, Donadío and Alvar. Castell confirms that Alvar has been overpaid by Heliodoro for Alice's internment. Alicia escapes from her cell and develops a plan to light a fire while Urquieta frees the rest of patients. Urquieta finds one of the twins dead in a cell, it becoming evident that the events of the secondary timeline pertain to the aftermath of Alice's plan. Alicia crosses paths with the forensic doctor, who tells her about Rómulo's death. Alicia knocks her down and impersonates her. She cracks the identity of the twin's killer (the Elephant Man). Cops confirm that Alice's account was emptied.
Castell convenes a meeting of the council to discharge Alice. Alice meets with the living twin and reveals that the dead one is actually Remo. Alvar renounces his vote, while the other four doctors clear Alice. Alvar lets Donadío into the room. To Alice's dismay, Donadío turns out to be the man she identified as García del Olmo.
Based on Book
Torcuato Luca de Tena