Playing God is a 2021 dramedy film about a brother-sister duo who make a living as con-artists. Written and directed by American filmmaker Scott Brignac, this film was released on VOD platforms in August 2021.
Let’s take a look at what good comes from ‘Playing God’ (pun proudly intended).
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
The film opens with Ben (played by Alan Tudyk) drinking some shady concoction with a Brazilian Shaman. He promptly says, ‘This is not the pretty spiritual awakening I was searching for before proceeding to spew his guts out. Cue credits! A cheeky-yet-funny start to what seems like a moderately promising film. As the credits roll, we finally meet the brother-sister duo – Rachel & Micah – performing their routine scams, intercut with scenic shots of Houston, Texas. They meet with Lizzy, who informs them of Ben – a grieving billionaire searching for spiritual awakening. However, Rachel has her qualms, and so they decide not to pursue it.
Sadly, the rules of storytelling dictate that the duo needs a reason to pursue the said task, so their next scam goes wrong. Turns out that Micah owes someone a lot of money and that someone is willing to torture them as revenge (in an absurd manner which isn’t funny, just weird). Desperate, Micah promises double what he owes, and the duo decides to go ahead with scamming Ben. They pose as ‘God’s Workers’ aka Angels and promise him a face-to-face word with God. With barely any struggle, they succeed in convincing him.
They recruit their mentor, Frank (played by Michael McKean), to play said, God. Will the con artists successfully scam the billionaire? Will they get away with it? That’s
‘Playing God’ Ending Explained : Was Ben Really The Twins’ Father?
The film’s final act is triggered when Micah asks Rachel to pose as a medium to communicate with Ben as his dead daughter. When Rachel refuses, Micah reveals to her that Ben is, in fact, their biological father, a former junkie. The latter had abandoned them but later cleaned his act up and got rich. Mind blown? No. I expected Micah to be conning Rachel into doing his bidding, but nope, Ben really is the father.
Meanwhile, Micah has cut a deal with the villain (the one whose name I can’t remember), who then raids Ben’s house while Rachel pretends to be the medium. After an unnecessarily complicated ending, Micah escapes with the money (because he was always bad, right?). Rachel and Frank are left behind.
Cut to three months later – Rachel is working an honest day job as a waitress. Frank tracks her down in an attempt to reconcile with the daughter he had abandoned. The end.
There are good textbook films, and there are lousy textbook films – which more often than not fall into the mediocre category. That’s where Playing God falls. It does many things the right way but forgets the most important parts of a good film – the conflicts and struggles. Without those, the film just feels like a series of events that happen because the writer intended them to.
The ending is just a hasty attempt at tying up loose ends but actually entangles them more. What started out as a reasonably good film degraded into a poorly done textbook snooze-fest that ends on an unnecessary tangle that only highlights all its weaknesses.
Playing God is a 2021 Drama Thriller film written and directed by Scott Brignac.