Film Review: 'No Man of God'
Film Review: 'No Man of God'

Film Review: ‘No Man of God’

A New Look at the Ted Bundy Case Adaptation to the Big Screen
“I’m the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.” –Ted Bundy.

While a cruel act is often believed to have occurred due to mental problems, the story of this serial and brutal murder actually involves a killer who understands mental problems.

He is Ted Bundy who was born with the name Theodore Robert Bundy. The whole world began to recognize his figure since it was revealed that the sadistic actions he had committed in taking the lives of more than 30 women.

In terms of educational background, Bundy is not just anyone. He holds a psychology degree from the University of Washington. He is handsome and knows how to get attention, even empathy from the other person. The form of charm and charisma that he is very aware of is effective in trapping the victims.

That side of intelligence is the main basis for one of the films that will be reviewed this time. This film tells the true story of Ted Bundy’s life since he was in prison and faced a series of investigations.

No Man of God
© RLJE Films
From several previous films that tend to focus on murder to trial, ‘No Man of God’, which is now available on Klik Film, focuses on a unique storyline. He highlighted the story of the investigation and the facts about the difficulty of getting Ted Bundy (Luke Kirby) to admit his guilt, even being indicated as having tried to influence his investigators back.

The complicated story of making Ted Bundy admit his guilt ends with the involvement of an FBI agent named Bull Hagmaier (Elijah Wood). When the other agents avoided the task of investigating Bundy because it was considered useless, Bill, who also came from a psychology education background, volunteered.

At first, Ted Bundy treated Bill like any other investigator. But gradually, he understood that Bill was different.

That one FBI agent was very intelligent and adept at understanding the defendants very well. He can read their minds and is empowered to gain confidence so that perpetrators tell confessions that other investigators cannot.

No Man of God
© RLJE Films
Bill does not judge him as “a person with a mental disorder who commits heinous acts”, but sees Bundy as a human being who needs to be talked to from heart to heart, from thought to thought. They are transformed into a pair of friends who are even happy to share various experiences.

‘No Man of God’ presents a portrait of the conversation of two intelligent humans who are practically equally adept at understanding each other.

The two are linked in a long, intimate, and deep dialogue. Although it is quite prone to make it boring to watch, for those who are interested in digesting it word for word, this film composes every dialogue from a powerful psychological perspective to invite horror and real emotional involvement.

Viewers who are interested in exploring it will be able to feel the complexity of interacting with a Ted Bundy who is very manipulative, even able to invite empathy to the interlocutor that should not be raised.

The audience is also brought to understand how Ted Bundy’s thoughts can encourage him to do crazy things without any sense of sin and bear the title of the most evil demon.

No Man of God
© RLJE Films
Bill Hagmaier’s intelligence was able to match Bundy’s so that no matter how much he was affected, his common sense still understood that his new best friend was at fault, whether legally, religiously or humanly.

This film also describes new aspects of handling the global case of a serial killer, such as how Ted Budy was exploited by the political interests of certain parties, which actually exacerbated the problem.

All the interesting and unique sides are presented in an impressive visualization technique because it involves various pieces of original footage.

The pieces come together solidly and create an atmosphere that makes the audience feel like they are really entering the past that has been chosen as the setting for the story.

Although the movement from scene to scene seems limited around the investigation room and Bill Hagmaire’s room, such a setting becomes an appropriate extension of the senses in describing the psychological distress of the characters, even making the audience feel it.

No Man of God
© RLJE Films The complexity of
the investigation process between Ted Bundy and Bill Hagmaire is represented in a narrow space, but contains many “heavy” conversations. The two of them not only speak to answer, but also while understanding the character of the other person and finding loopholes to manipulate or survive this form of manipulation.

The gradation game in three main colors, green, blue, and black, is also very clearly a tool to evoke the emotions of the audience which are mixed between fear, crime, tranquility, truth, security, to depression.

These techniques lead ‘No Man of God’ towards a consistent appearance and is related to all the details of the story in it, such as plot, characterization, and psychological conflict.

No Man of God
© RLJE Films
Another great thing as well as the most impressive of this film is in the quality of the acting two main centers of the characters, namely Elijah Wood as Bill Hagmaier and Luke Kirby as Ted Bundy.

For viewers familiar with the true story of the investigation into this sadistic serial murder case, they will surely find Luke Kirby’s near-perfect resemblance to Bundy’s representation.

The gesture when he was in his final interview before his execution by electric chair was so identically represented by Luke Kirby, not even a frown escaped his attention.

Likewise with Elijah Wood, his acting is convincing to look smart, calm, disturbed, to empathize with his co-stars. The two main characters present a chemistry that should be appreciated as an investigator and defendant who are also friendly.

No Man of God
© RLJE Films
Overall, the film ‘No Man of God’ is a film that must be enjoyed by potential viewers who are curious about the intelligence side of Ted Bundy so that it managed to kill the lives of dozens of female victims, without even the slightest feeling of guilt.

‘No Man of God’ offers something new and manages to differentiate itself from various adaptations of previous true stories about one of the world’s most heinous serial killers.

This film comes from a psychological point of view that tempts the audience to realize the dangers of interacting with someone like Ted Bundy.

 

Director: Amber Sealey

Cast: Elijah Wood, Luke Kirby, Aleksa Palladino, Robert Patrick

Duration: 100 minutes

Score: 7.8/10

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