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Tell No One


Stars: Francois Cluzet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Marie-Josee Croze, Andre Dussollier, Marina Hands, Nathalie Baye, Jean Rochefort

Director: Guillaume Canet

US thriller writer Harlan Coben's best-selling novel gets a Gallic makeover in this cinematic equivalent of a page-turner.

Alex Beck (a perfectly-cast Cluzet) is a melancholy doctor whose wife and childhood sweetheart (Croze) was murdered eight years ago during an annual pilgrimage to their favourite lakeside haunt. A notorious serial killer was convicted of the crime.

Now Alex gets an e-mail which persuades him that his wife may still be alive. Suddenly it seems that everyone has something to hide, and both the police - who have always suspected Alex of the crime - and more lethal pursuers are on his trail.

You may have a tough time keeping up with this, but I guess that's the idea. By the time you've figured out the relationship of the various characters to each other, you may, both figuratively and literally, have lost the plot. That doesn't make it any the less watchable, as Alex runs for his life. What secrets was his wife concealing? Was she having an affair, or was it a whole lot more complex?

As soon as thriller fans hear that her corpse had a swollen eye, ripped face and broken nose, they'll guess that the wife is indeed still around. Unlike some modern suspensers, though, everything is gradually (though at rather too much length) explained at the end - apart from one or two "Yes, but how?' questions best left unexplored.

David Quinlan

France 2006. UK Distributor: Revolver. Colour by Arane.
130 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Jun 2007