Tell No One
(Ne le dis à personne)

tell no one

Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)
Made in: France
Language: French
Director: Guillaume Canet
Starring: François Cluzet, Marie-Josée Croze, Kristin Scott Thomas, André Dussollier, Jean Rochefort, Nathalie Baye, Marina Hands, Gilles Lellouche
Year: 2006

Synopsis: Eight years after the brutal murder of his wife, Dr. Alexandre Beck (François Cluzet) has been cleared of all suspicion and is trying to get his life back in order. But the police start badgering him again when the two dead bodies of the killers are dug up near his property.

Stranger still are mysterious emails that Alexandre is receiving on the anniversary of the murder. The emails direct him to a web page where a video shows that his wife, Margot (Marie-Josée Croze), is not only alive, but urging him to keep silent. Margot arranges to secretly meet him at a park to reveal the whole truth.

But soon, Alexandre finds that he's only a minor player tangled up in a huge conspiracy involving his father in-law (André Dussollier), his sister (Marina Hands), and a philanthropist (Jean Rochefort).

When sinister forces concoct an elaborate scheme to frame him for more dirty deeds, the doctor turns to his sister's cunning lesbian lover (Kristin Scott Thomas), an expert defense attorney (Nathalie Baye), and Bruno (Gilles Lellouche), a clever thug who owes him a favor.

To get to the bottom of the mess, Alexandre has to do everything he can in order to stay ahead of the real perpetrators as well as the police until the meeting takes place...

The Good: Director Guillaume Canet, also an accomplished actor, puts together a very well-structured, well-filmed story. Leading man François Clozet might not have movie star looks, but he's got a down-to-earth, "everyman" appeal and carries the film without any problems.

Tell No One throws a lot of characters and details at the viewer, and maintains an atmosphere of intelligence without going too far over your head. The climax is very engaging, and the final twists are clever. The film moves at an organized, methodical pace, but there are some pretty exciting (and believable-looking) action sequences throughout.

The Bad: At just over two hours, Tell No One does feel long. It makes you sit through a lot of exposition, and to a degree, strings you along for quite a while before it gets to the more exciting bits.

Part of the fun with murder mysteries are the clues placed throughout to make the viewer guess how everything comes together. But this particular mystery doesn't seem to give us enough hints, so there's very little (if any) hope of even guessing how things work out at the end.

Who would like this movie: Tell No One is for you if you like foreign films and intricate murder mysteries with some well-acted drama. Overall, it's a solid story, but some may argue that the final pieces of the mystery come dangerously close to being contrived. It's a long film (a little over two hours), but I'd say it's a clear cinematic triumph for Guillaume Canet.

(3 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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