Victim’s moment of truth in revenge tale

Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman in The Secrets We Keep (Bleecker Street)

The Secrets We Keep is an emotional thriller that tells the story of a woman who takes revenge on a man she thinks was responsible for war crimes against her years before. Source: ACOFB.

The film combines the talents of two well-known Swedish actors - Noomi Rapace (best known for her lead role as Lisbeth Salander in the 2009 film The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Joel Kinnaman. Rapace is executive co-producer of the movie.

In the film, Maja (Rapace) lives with her husband, Lewis (Chris Messina), in a small town in suburban America. Maja is rebuilding her life after the trauma of what she endured in World War II but she knows “her life will never be normal” after being terrorised as a young girl by Nazi soldiers.

Maja has chosen to keep her tragic past from her husband, which gives special significance to the title of the film. The secrets revealed in the film are many, however, and the plotline tellingly projects their complexity, as the camera roams over past and present scenes.

When going about routine life, Maja hears a neighbour, Thomas (Joel Kinnaman), whistling in the street, and thinks she recognises him as the German soldier who brutalised her 15 years earlier. Traumatised by her memories, Maja takes revenge by kidnapping Thomas. He denies he is the person Maja thinks he is. Lewis, unconvinced by her claims and traumatised by them but pushed into complicity, urges his wife to let Thomas go.

The major dramatic power of the movie resides in the difficulty of knowing who is telling the truth. What is the path out of revenge that can best achieve forgiveness, and who wants what, for what reasons?

Reviewed by Peter W. Sheehan, ACOFB. Released on the Palace cinema network from September 17 and streaming on Foxtel from October 21.

The Secrets We Keep: Starring Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, and Chris Messina. Directed by Yuval Adler. Rating Classification MA15+. Restricted. (Strong themes, violence, sexual violence and coarse language). 98 min.

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The Secrets We Keep (ACOFB) 

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