Sunday, April 19, 2009

TELL NO ONE (Guillaume Canet, 2006, France) A doctor must face the loss of his innocence; his childhood love stolen from him becomes an echo in the forlorn darkness of his soul. Dr. Alex Beck must continue alone with his life but is unable to do so, that violent encounter forever branded upon his brain, and eight years later he is still under the drowning influence of emotional pressure. Then suddenly a strange e-mail changes the course of his life and all is not what it seemed: is his wife still alive? If so, how? Why? These questions and a vast conspiracy force Alex upon a violent journey of self-discovery and conflict, with both law enforcement and some unknown stalkers haunting his every move. Director Guillaume Canet films a suspenseful drama that catapults the characters into one situation after another, asking more questions than it answers. The anxiety is force-fed as a subtle melodrama transforms into a vast gimmick that threatens to stretch credibility beyond the breaking point. The film works well as a reflexive thriller but falls apart under scrutiny: the final act where characters spout inane exposition severs the umbilical of disbelief and every facet of the plot is explained, bringing the climax to a screeching and implausible halt. This mediocre potboiler is saved from perdition by excellent acting and vibrant cinematography, but the ending is too contrived: the more details left unexplained, the better. TELL NO ONE is superficial entertainment that will linger in your mind hours after, questioning the complex motivations that are just not believable: the more you think about it, the less you will enjoy it. (C)

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