Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)
If you look up this film, you’re bound to read its tag line: Eight years ago, Alex’s wife was murdered. Today… she e-mailed him. You may also come across words like ‘thriller’ combined with words like ‘intense.’ If I had that information before going into the theater, I would have written off Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne) as some action flick with poor acting and worse scriptwriting. It is anything, but that.
The film is based on the book of the same title by American author Harlan Coben. I haven’t read the book, but with a screenplay this complex, I must read it’s source material, and is now definitely on my TBR list. No One comes from director Guillaume Canet (My Idol, J’peux pas dormir) who is one of France’s highest paid, and lusted after actors.
While Canet has a small role, he directs an all star cast that oozes with talent. The opening scene introduces us to Alexander Beck (François Cluzet), and his wife Margot (Marie-Josée Croze) at an idyllic, deserted lake. After laying together on the dock, Margot decides to go back to the house. Once out of view, Alex hears a scream, when he goes to check on her, he’s hit in the head with a bat and falls unconscious in the water. It then cuts to 8 years later. Alex had been investigated in the disappearance/murder of his wife, but had been cleared of suspicion until some new evidence re-opened the case. He also receives a mysterious coded e-mail which leads him to a video that suggests his wife may not be dead, that the unrecognizable body they buried under the name Margot was a fake.
From that point on there are twists, and turns, and police chases, and serial killers, and conspiracies. However, although it sounds sensational, it doesn’t feel that way at all. The film isn’t based on these factors alone, it’s based on its characters, and thanks to dedicated development we can relate and suspend our disbelief with almost no effort. While the film runs just over two hours, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. Canet masterfully keeps his cast, his characters, his plot, his camera angles, and his vision in check and the result is mesmerizing and engaging. It’s clear Canet took some cues from recent successful French and European thrillers like unendingly disturbing films Cache and Voorloos (The Vanishing), but he takes those cues and makes them his own.
This film is not rated. Which means a free pass for you sticklers on the Rs…
Although this is not an official Lit Flicks Challenge entry, it would be the perfect candidate since it’s based on a book…and I saw the movie! That’s all it takes folks to be involved. The challenge starts September 1st, so sign up here, and check back soon! After all, you’re probably reading books, and watching movies anyway, why not win prizes for doing so? Also, if you want to join the challenge more focused on reading, check out my sister’s co-challenge here.