Writer and Director Daniel Antebi’s feature film debut, God’s Time (2022), will likely not work for everybody – but it clicked for me. There is manic energy and a fourth-wall-breaking performance that kept the momentum going the entire time. It was almost as if the Safdie brothers directed Deadpool, and removed the costumed super-hero elements.
Dev (Ben Groh) and his best friend Luca (Dion Costelloe) are recovering addicts and aspiring actors in New York City. Dev becomes convinced that Regina (Liz Caribel Sierra), his secret crush from recovery, is going to kill her ex-boyfriend, and drags Luca on an odyssey to stop her. It is never as easy as it seems, but Dev’s suspicions aren’t off-base.
The performances in this film are incredible. It’s actually hard to pinpoint whose to start with. Sierra probably pops first, as her backstory is shown repeatedly at recovery during the beginning of the story. Each version of the story, as it cuts back and forth in time, is delivered slightly differently, and shows cases her range instantly. This is her debut, but she gives such an incredible performance that she feels like a seasoned veteran.
Costelloe takes the longest to pop, but he gets a monolog very late in the film that cemented his performance. That’s not to say he isn’t good throughout, but his character is much more in the background by comparison to the other two. It is during the monolog that he really gets to showcase his full range of talent.
Groh is my favorite aspect of the film, though. He brings so much energy and charm to the character of Dev. He is also the character I suspect will either make audiences love or hate the movie. For me, his performance was so charming that even when he was making dumb choices, I was hoping Dev would figure out his obstacles.
The story revolves around the relationship between these three characters – and it’s a complex one. Dev and Luca have a complicated friendship, but they seem to be super loyal. However, that reality is questioned as to the dynamic between Dev, Luca, and Regina is revealed slowly over time.
God’s Time is a dark comedy that really feels the moment. All of the COVID-19 elements aren’t really what I’m getting at, but that certainly didn’t hurt my point: the hostility and emotions of the characters trying to make the most of a tough situation. They are struggling, and it’s easy to find them empathetic. God’s Time earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.