The Lie – Review

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A remake of a German film entitled We Monsters (2015), The Lie actually has the potential to become a media model, about how to shift the bitter family drama typical of European filmmakers, towards thriller / horror that is more friendly to a wider audience. Unfortunately, Veena Sud, who acts as director and scriptwriter, has stripped too much of her exploration of the impact of divorce on children, which is the foundation of all her character problems. Top Movie Site

Kayla (Joey King) the name of our protagonist. A girl who doesn’t receive affection after her parents divorce. He lives with his mother, Rebecca (Mireille Enos), who works as a corporate lawyer, after deciding to leave the police. Meanwhile, his father, Jay (Peter Sarsgaard), is still determined to pursue success through music. That day, it was Jay’s turn to take Kayla to ballet school. On the way, the two meet Brittany (Devery Jacobs), Kayla’s best friend who is also going to the school. Kayla also invited Brittany to join their car.

Because he wants to relieve himself, Brittany asks Jay to stop the car in the middle of nowhere. Together with Kayla, Brittany entered the forest, but soon, Jay heard her daughter’s scream. Jay rushes to search, and finds Kayla crying, sitting on the edge of the bridge, as if she were about to jump into the fast-flowing river below. Then Kayla admitted that she had pushed Brittany. Apart from the swift currents, the relatively high distance from the bridge, plus the river’s condition in winter, made Jay believe Brittany was beyond help.

Jay decided to hide Kayla’s actions. Rebecca initially refused, but once she thought about the series of consequences her daughter could face, she agreed. A lie, which later ends up creating other lies. Yes, as the title suggests, The Lie talks about the impact of lies, and Veena Sud’s script is quite clever in utilizing this theme as thriller material. Best Movie

We often make lies as a way out of problems. Here, we are invited to one lie leading to another lie, which instead of solving it, actually adds to the problem. If the first lie hadn’t been spoken, nothing would have happened. The question is, where is the “first lie”?

The cold snowy background gives a dark atmosphere accordingly, as a stage for Veena Sud to show off her directorial capacity, which is able to slowly build tension. The intensity of the creeping, while the occasional, every time it is needed, can suddenly grip. Sud is like having fun playing with the audience, making us nervous to see the protagonists making mistakes.

But as mentioned above, The Lie has almost completely abandoned his exploration of the impact of divorce on children, especially adolescents. What appears on the screen is only simplification, where the impact is only used as justification for Kayla’s stupid decisions. There was no further investigation or discussion.

I don’t think The Lie chose the right ending either. There are two moments that can be used to end the story better. The first moment at the dinner table is the riskiest option, given that mainstream audiences won’t like ambiguity. But in closing, the moment perfectly captures the irony of family togetherness, while simultaneously flicking the meaning of the concept of “families protect each other”.

Then comes a twist, which for the veteran genre film audience, of course, won’t be hard to guess. The twist that tries hard to be covered up, to the point where the film seems to be cheating the audience, by taking advantage of the mental instability of the character, as a teenager victim of divorce. The Lie can also be ended shortly after the twist, which, although problematic, still contains strong irony as a resolution. But The Lie felt that the audience needed clarity, so the story ended only after a long exposition, and a closing shot aimed at blowing hope, rather than amplifying the bitterness caused by the domino effect of lies. Movie Review

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