Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne)
Based on a best selling thriller novel, French director Guillaume Canet recreates a murder mystery in "Tell No One" ("Ne le dis à personne," France 2006, 125 min.). Suspenseful? Definitely. Thrilling? Not really.
Set in Paris, pediatrician Alex Beck (François Cluzet) still moans his wife after she was murdered eight years ago. After Alex receives a strange email that directs him to a video footage on the internet, he finds himself becoming a target of the police investigation while he tries to find out the truth about the crime eight year ago.
The film never stop adding more jigsaw puzzle pieces into the picture before one can make any sense from few clues that are already given. After a good half of the film, it does not slow down its pace, and continues to provoke more questions than provide any answers. That comes with a heavy price—its characters. Because the film is deliberately focused on manipulative plots to make it as complex and suspenseful as possible, it has little time left to explore its characters in depth. It takes me a while to figure out their identities and their relationships with Alex. Somehow, I do not think I am entirely responsible to feel these women all look alike in the film, except the woman who tortures using pressure point technique (点穴) —originally this is an Asian male in the novel.
Amazingly looked like Dustin Hoffman, François Cluzet terrifically plays Alex Beck, even though he is limited by his character. He can run faster than his internet connection that uploads his Yahoo Email; he is lucky that when he clicks on a strange Web address from a stranger, he does not get any computer virus. I keep asking myself, what if he does not run? To me, he does many more things that he should not do.
It would have been alright if the plot comes together at the end after the endless buildups. However, the film surprisingly provides a tell-you-everything-about-what-happened ending, like detective Poirot would do, but without the dramatic and convincing effect that Poriot orchestrates.
What a tease.