Noomi Rapace, Chris Messina and Joel Kinnaman give each other a hand in The Secrets We Keep, a wobbly psychological drama by Yuval Adler.
Hard not to immediately think about The girl and death, remarkable camera by Roman Polanski with Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley on the same subject. Unfortunately, the feature film is only a poor copy, the performance of the actors not enough to make up for it all.
For The Secrets We Keep, Maja (Noomi Rapace) is a housewife in a small American town in the 1950s. Hungarian refugee, married to Lewis (Chris Messina), a doctor, she leads a very quiet life until the day she recognizes (or believes recognize) in Thomas (Joel Kinnaman) an SS soldier who assaulted her and killed her sister during World War II. As in “The young girl and death” (the film is the adaptation of the eponymous play), she sequesters the man to make him confess and exercise his revenge.
However, here, Maja’s quest for truth is reflected in a desire by screenwriter Ryan Covington and the director-co-screenwriter to add more for fear that the public will pick up. We are thus entitled to almost laughable scenes, like that of a visit from a policeman (who must be a little deaf or so completely stupid) while Thomas, detained in the cellar, shouts. Or that of the kidnapping of Thomas’s wife. And what about moments of gratuitous violence and torture, if not that this “gore” adds nothing?
It is all the more unfortunate that the three actors are good, that we remember Noomi Rapace and that the subject – the memory was fallible, to what point can one be sure of the veracity of his memories? – and its ramifications – the need for revenge, in particular – are fascinating.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
The Secrets We Keep is available on video on demand.