A great murder mystery movie has a solid plot with lots of twists that knock the viewer flat on their backs when revealed. Please excuse me as I pick myself up from Tell No One, a French murder mystery with so many twists, it will make your head spin. As a reviewer with little to no experience with French cinema, I won’t try to compare this movie to other films of its kind, as my perception of French film genres are that of stereotypical Paris romances and film noir. I will, however, compare this film to other murder mysteries as a top-notch addition to the genre.
Alexandre (François Cluzet) and Margot (Marie-Josée Croze) are a seemingly happy couple, just enjoying life and starting theirs out as a married pair. But when they decide to take a midnight swim in a nearby lake, it proves the last time they would see each other. Margot is murdered by an unknown assailant, presumed to be a serial killer who targets women and leaves the body with corpses of dogs and cats. Alexandre, while trying to get to her is knocked unconscious, falling into the lake. He’s is later found lying on the pier, still alive. Waking up in the hospital, Alex finds himself wifeless, a suspect of murder, and unknowingly thrown in the middle of a much bigger mess.
The problems begin eight years later, on the anniversary of Margot’s death, when Alexandre receives an email from an anonymous source, linking him to an uploaded video of a street surveillance camera showing Margot appearing alive and well. The journey begins to find his wife with the help of his best friend, Hélène, a resident lesbian with a snarky ‘tude. Alex reels through police chases, meetings with thugs, and a web of Margot’s own making to find her again. He is warned to “tell no one” about the sighting of his dead wife, or the consequences could be fatal.
To be honest, when I started this movie, I didn’t expect much from it. I was blown away by the plot twists and how strong the conviction of an assumed widower to find his lost wife can be. Tell No One exceeded my expectations as a murder mystery and had me saying “What a twist!” almost more than a Shyamalan flick. There was one thing I couldn’t get over though: François Cluzet looks almost exactly like a younger Dustin Hoffman. Take a look at this man, and tell me you don’t think that. That was probably the only thing that kept me hooked through the beginning until the film got more interesting.
Although the twists when presented were great and unexpected, the film dragged in some places and took a while to get me really interested. I would recommend you watch Tell No One and judge for yourself.
Whitney is a Minnesotan writer and animation enthusiast, specializing in fantasy fiction. She loves music and drawing and always has a notebook by her side for spur-of-the-moment inspirations.