If you’re looking for a thoughtful, original film, writer / director Scott Brignac‘s “Playing God” is one you’ll want to seek out. It’s not the most well made indie movie, and the studio attempting to advertise it as a comedy caper won’t do the project any favors, but I was pleasantly surprised at how thought-provoking and creative it turned out to be.
Siblings Michah (Luke Benward) and Rachel (Hannah Kasulka) live their lives in search of the next con. When they learn about a grieving billionaire (Alan Tudyk) who has been hit by tragedy, the pair convince him that they can introduce him to God for a face-to-face meeting. Needing someone to fill the role of the divine one, they reconnect with grifter (and their former mentor) Frank (Michael McKean). Frank agrees to portray the supreme Christian being as they attempt one of the largest paydays of their lives.
While not as deep as the subject matter suggests, the film explores the ways humans deal with grief, including the constant questioning “why?” and either a turn to or loss of faith. A very atheistic viewpoint is at play, and the lines of morality are blurred when exploring the ideas of exploiting a person’s suffering.
The film is a little slow but once it finds its footing, things quickly become more engaging. McKean is perfectly cast, and the actors turn in quite good performances (including a terrific turn from Tudyk). They portray damaged people with equally damaged relationships in a believable way, and the story (even with a great twist) is just so sad.
This is far from a feel-good movie, but “Playing God” is worth checking out if you’re in the mood for something original, thoughtful, and different.
By: Louisa Moore