Sommerleigh Pollonais – Featured Writer
The Secrets We Keep tells the story of a woman named Maja (Noomi Rapace) who’s happily married, raising her young son in post WWII America. Until one day she stumbles in on her new neighbor Thomas (Joel Kinnaman) being treated by her husband Lewis (Chris Messina) in his office and she freaks out. She follows him, knocks him out and ties him up in her basement. Why you ask? Well she believes his real name is Karl, and Karl may or may not have done some horrendous things to Maja and her family during the war.
I wanted to watch this movie for two reasons: One Noomi and two Rapace. She’s an actress who gave us an instantly iconic character with her portrayal of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and she more or less delivers with every performance, even in films that don’t rise up to meet her talents. That said, this isn’t one of her finer moments. There’s a side effect to watching as many movies as I do. I tend to see and remember similar past movies while watching the present film. It happened here not just with the story, but the actress herself, who was in a very similar movie called Angel of Mine. Same past trauma, same no one believes her, same ending result (well, kind of. Go watch that movie and see what I mean. It’s better than this one anyways). I couldn’t help comparing these two narratives for the entire runtime which made this movie feel predictable and lazy by comparison.
What could’ve save this one would’ve been a tighter pace and stronger development of side characters, like the kidnapped man’s wife, and all around better writing for the three main characters. While I won’t say Rapace is phoning in her performance, she’s definitely not giving it her all. Poor Joel Kinnaman (Suicide Squad, Altered Carbon) is stuck trying to make a cake out of sand, with his poorly written and wholly predictable character arc (tell me you couldn’t figure out the ending by the second act) and Chris Messina (Devil), who I KNOW has talent in spades as both a comedic and dramatic performer, comes across as nothing more than dazed and confused for most of the runtime.
I really wish I could recommend this one as I’m a fan of all three of the leads here, and the truth is they aren’t the ones to blame. The Secrets That We Keep is a poorly written, wannabe thriller, with a terrible ending that wastes not just the narrative it built up (revenge vs forgiveness) but also its talented actors. It tries to be deep but alas, only makes you think of other movies that did the same thing better.
Score: 4.5 out of 10
I’ll tell you what, here are three better shows, starring these people that you can watch instead of this. Don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya!
- Noomi Rapace : Whatever Happened to Monday
- Joel Kinnaman: Altered Carbon Season 1 (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, AVOID SEASON 2!)
- Chris Messina: Sharp Objects (I even liked him in Devil. The movie is trash, but he’s good in it)
For my review of creepy 90s-centric thriller Rent-a-Pal here. And for more actually thrilling film reviews you can like and follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here.
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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