Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Dr. Alexandre Beck (Francois Cluzet) has been in love with his lovely wife Margot (Marie-Jose Croze) since they were in grade school and sure they have had their problems here and there like any other married couple but there is little doubt that their feelings for each other are true.

Then one tragic day while Alexandre and Margot were chilling out skinny dipping at his family’s remote lakeside property, and might I say it looked kind of cold to be out there to be swimming naked but you know the French, Margot is brutally murdered and Alexandre is savagely attacked but somehow manages to survive.

Eight years later Dr. Beck has moved on with his life, more or less, working as a highly respected pediatrician when a series of strange things start to happen. First thing is that a pair of long dead men are unearthed near Alexandre’s property, not to far from where his wife was found, a discovery which has piqued the police’s interest in Alexandre once again as a possible suspect in his wife’s murder. There were some things that occurred eight years ago that simply didn’t make much sense to the police at the time, however the murders did follow that modus operandi of a particular serial killer who was operating at the time so they reluctantly let it go.

The second thing that has occurred, and here’s where it starts getting weird for Dr. Beck, is that he gets a video email from what he thinks is his long dead wife. This clearly can’t be possible since his wife’s body was clearly identified by her emotionally distraught father, police inspector Jacques Laurentin (Andre Dussollier), and a complete and thorough autopsy was performed, but the fact the remains that Dr. Beck feels, albeit through desperation, hope or abject loneliness that his one true love may still be alive out there somewhere.

Margot may or may not be alive but something is certainly going on because people are turning up dead and the police have turned their attention to our rather crafty and athletic pediatrician as their prime suspect. I’m not one to say but it’s looking like there is a conspiracy afoot somewhere, and brother do we love a good conspiracy.

Directed and co-written by Guillaume Canet, who also has secured a role for himself in his film as a horse riding, raping, pedophile, ‘Tell No One’ is one of the better thrillers I have seen in recent years, and possibly the most efficient one as well. When you watch movies such as this one, particularly if you enjoy these type of movies like a lot of us do, you tend to notice the flaws and plot holes that pop up here and there because it is extremely difficult to make a twisty thriller and keep all your ducks in a row. Still we are quick to forgive these transgressions if a thriller manages to… well… thrill us. But in this film every character is essential to servicing the narrative, every plot point no matter how obscure it may seem leads somewhere, and after the film is over when you run through it in your mind’s eye questioning this or that, practically every quiz has as solid answer. Almost. More on that at the end of this little article.

Another thing that assists ‘Tell No One’ in being such an effective thriller, in addition to Canet’s drum tight direction and the solid narrative, are the fine performances from some of the finest actors working today. Francois Cluzet was pitch perfect as the everyman forced to do a few superman type things in his attempts to get the truth. I had no idea that Kristin Scott Thomas, who played Alexandre’s acerbic no nonsense gay sister, spoke fluent French and with excellent support from veterans Francois Breland, Jean Rochefort in addition to Gilles Lellouche and Oliver Marchal – who by the way is a fine film director in own right, ‘Tell No One’ is a near perfect blend of action, suspense, narrative and melodrama.

SPOILER TIME!!! So my one question with it is this: So Senator Neuville played by Jean Rochefort realizes that Margot is still alive and has also concluded that either she killed his beloved pedophile of a son or at the very least knows who did. Thus he dispatches his vicious henchman played by Oliver Marchal who tortures, kills, harasses and stakes out everybody or anybody who he thinks may know Margot’s whereabouts so they can silence her for good. Except Margot’s dad. It would seem to me that if anybody knows where Margot is and has the wherewithal to hide the woman it would be that dude, the Chief of Police, and my search would begin with him way before I decided to start torturing porno photographers and pediatricians. Just a thought. Still a very good movie.

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