February 07, 2008

Tell No One

This French Thriller from last year is a sophisticated effort and it asks some interesting questions- particularly about the nature of love. A man's wife died in a horrific murder eight years before the action of the film, he has barely been able to recover since from the incident, still traumatised he throws himself into his work, until that is he gets an email from her. There she is standing in the entrance to a building in a foreign country- the film then winds itself round the question of her return and what actually happened in to her and to her murderers in a wood long ago in rural France. Our hero is by turns bemused and confused, he seems to have lacked any real sense or purpose to his life and now he finds one in the returned wife that he thought he had lost. The film's denoument is a little trite- too much is brought together- but that's not the purpose of the film, rather its a study of the effect of loneliness and obsession upon the life of one man.

There are some fantastic sequences here- especially as the hero runs through the motorway traffic at one point. But its the psychological dimensions that are most interesting. The man, Dr Alexandre Peck, is played wonderfully in particular. One gets in his face the image of an unending loneliness- a solitariness that he cannot relieve in the absense of his life. Its particularly well crafted as early on in the film we see him before his wife's murder, sitting together with friends and enjoying a beer on a perfect summer night. By the time we make his acquaintance again he has become haunted and lonely, withered amidst the storms of life and sent sprawling backwards upon his own solitude. When his wife intones to him the words 'Tell No One' on the video she sends him, its an instruction he is almost perfectly capable of fulfilling- there is noone almost that he can tell.

That almost is there as a qualifier becuase he does have two friends. A Lesbian friend of his wife and himself who becomes his confidante. Her relationship too is threatened by the whole unfolding drama and she too is a victim in her own way eventually of the events in the wood. His other friend is a wonderfully played Parisian thug- who assists him in escaping from the police and in avoiding capture. You see by this time the police themselves are beggining to suspect whether Alexandre had anything himself to do with his wife's death or the deaths of others- the corpses do begin to mount up in this drama in the true style of a Hitchcock thriller. What is interesting therefore is the way that the loss of his wife has rendered this man a deeply sad but brilliant man- it drained him of his core and placed him in the position of maintaining a facade of a successful doctor whilst actually being vacant inside.

This is a really interesting thriller- its well worth seeing- its exciting and clever in equal measure and should delight anyone who likes cinema on any level.