The Wrath of God Review: The lop-sided divinity of seeking revenge

The Argentinian film is a psychological thriller that puts the Biblical “an eye for an eye” under the lens


Sushmita Bose

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Published: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 4:51 PM

The Wrath of God has a Biblical throwback — of the more unforgiving Old Testament variety: the idea of revenge being “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, and the fact that an act of avengement may be more amplified than the original “crime” since the repercussions on the ecosystem of the victim (okay, the ‘alleged’ victim) is more dynamic.

The movie is hinged largely on three characters. Luciana (Macarena Achaga), an editorial assistant; renowned writer Kloster (Diego Peretti); and struggling writer-turned-journalist Esteban Rey (Juan Minujín). The three have had interconnected lives over the past 12 years.

A young Luciana used to work for Kloster 12 years ago. One afternoon, when his wife and eight-year-old daughter are out, Kloster makes a pass at Luciana, and she quits the job. Later, at the behest of a family lawyer, she files a sexual harassment case against him, which he settles monetarily in no time; when a surprised Luciana wonders why he gave in so easily, she’s informed Kloster has not been himself because his wife and daughter died recently. An upset Luciana withdraws the case — and the settlement — and tries to move on.

Over the next few years, one by one, her family members begin to die mysteriously. Each time, there seems to be a connection with Kloster at the scene, and Luciana is convinced that it is him extracting revenge: he believes she’s the one responsible for what happened to his family (I will not reveal what exactly happened to them — and why!), and now he’s dealing her a body blow. Her obsession with Kloster becomes a paranoia, but she claims she wants her kid sister — the only other surviving member — to be out of harm’s way.

This is when she enlists the help of Esteban, who she knew around the same time she worked for Kloster; she asks him to do a story on her, where she will reveal why Kloster is the one responsible for the murders in her family. The story will be a scoop since Kloster’s new book is about to be released. Esteban, like the others, begins to think Luciana is being overly paranoid.

And then everything comes to a head on the day of the book release — which is the starting point of the film.

The Wrath of God has a pretty gripping storyline. Far-fetched, sure… maybe a little pretentious as well. The plot shuttles between three timelines: the present, the past (12 years ago), and the time just before the present... so, since the format is not strictly linear, and overlaps frequently, it tends to get a bit confusing. Having said that, the length of the film is short — around an hour and a half — so it’s not really very taxing.

Diego Peretti, as Kloster, appears to be on a trip to be mashup of Al Pacino and Gabriel Byrne; in fact, at times you may get a bit confused… darkly confused.

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