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Film Review Tell No One

Posted on by sam

Tell No One/Ne le dis à personne

Director: Guillaume Canet (2006)

I watched Tell No One with Tom, so it joins Human Centipede First Cut, the Twentieth Century Boys trilogy and Dragonball Evolution as films we’ve actually watched together. It’s not that I don’t enjoy watching films with Tom; it’s just there always seems to be something else worth doing. In fact we only watched Evolution because Tom wanted it placed in the same crap list as T3 and Human Centipede because I’d built it up too much to watch it without him.  Tell No One came about because of a cancelled shoot but seeing as how it’s subject matter didn’t involve defecation (literal or adaptive sense), and it’s an arty French film, these was always a good chance it was going to top our shared cinematic experience list. Did it? Well yes though it was touch and go at first.

The thing about Tell No One is that it’s like someone trying to sell a lemon as a pear. (Possibly because no one wants your damn lemons!) It’s described as a love story about a doctor (Alex) who finds out his brutally murdered wife (Margot) may be alive and try’s to find her. But very quickly it becomes apparent that actually this film is pretty light on love; instead it’s much more of a thriller about deception, loss, street thugs and people getting shot. I’m not complaining about any of this, I like the lemon, I just wished they hadn’t told me it was a pear.

As far as lemons go, it’s a pretty good effort, François Cluzet is charming as the lead and the support cast includes Kristin Scott Thomas who for me can do no wrong since The English Patient. The pace is breakneck and there’s a conclusion that ties most things up pretty nicely. It’s also unashamedly French with lots of smoking, verbal smack downs and cheek kisses. Tell No One is a lot of good things then, but it’s not a love-story. Love stories have first dates and kisses and hugs and other sloppy stuff, they don’t have car pile-ups, point blank executions and street thugs slapping nurses.

I read that Michael Caine puts Tell No One in his top ten films of all time,  I don’t want to disagree with the maestro (As if he’s ever going to read this, or give a shit even if he does) but that is horribly wrong. Top 100 maybe, deffo top 1000 but this is not one of the ten greatest films ever made. Tell No One is good, both Tom and I enjoyed it, but it’s not without its faults. For one it takes a long time to get going, both before and after the murder of Alex’s wife, I’d say you have a good half hour before it starts to take shape, two it’s so breakneck that if you miss anything you’ll probably be lost in two scenes times. There also a couple of funny turns that perhaps stretch the imagination a bit, (i.e. a street thug slaps a nurse at the beginning over his haemophilic son and yet is allowed to sit in the waiting room arrest free) mostly though I wouldn’t put it in my top because there’s enough crammed into Tell No One to make three films. It’s a really rich story, and there’s tons of mystery  but so much has to be revealed quickly to build up to the next mystery which then has to be revealed quickly to build up to the next mystery which then has to be revealed quickly to build up to the next …………………………………………..

I really wish they’d gone for a double or a trilogy and taken their time to smell the roses more. There are few characters such as Alex’s lawyer and of course Kristin Scott Thomas which could have been explored further and little of the actual plot would have had to be changed. So there we go, good film but not a top ten, enjoy.

Tom’s thoughts, comments, corrections or possible silence:

Good film But easy to get lost due to the rushed plot.

Story should have been made for T.V.

My Response

Thank you Thomas

Written By Sam ‘Next on our list, A Serbian Film’ McKinstrie