The Secrets We Keep – Film Review

Directed and co-written by Yuval Adler, The Secrets We Keep is a film set in post-World War II America that tells the story of a woman who seeks revenge on one who committed war crimes against her during the war.

Maja (Noomi Rapace) is attempting to rebuild her life after the war. She is married to her husband Lewis (Chris Messina), they have a son, Patrick (Jackson Dean Vincent) and the three of them live a good life. However, on several occasions Maja notices a familiar looking man in the neighbourhood. Maja believes that the man in question Thomas (Joel Kinnaman), one of the men that committed the war crimes against her and her family during the war. Maja decides to take matters into her own hands by seeking revenge on him but will have to try in a way where she won’t get caught, while also trying to convince her husband that the man she is targeting is indeed the same person.

The believable chemistry between Maja and Lewis’ characters is down to the excellent writing of Yuval Adler and the perfect casting of Noomi Rapace as Maja and Chris Messina as Lewis. Maja is constantly being reminded of what happened to her during the war and it is evident that with her plans for revenge that she isn’t thinking straight. Even though Lewis does not support her morally, he is still a loving husband, father and tries to assist Maja during her difficult time.

The set designs and the costumes for the film were very well done, as the attention to detail made the neighbourhood, costumes and hairstyles really look convincingly from the 40s and the 50s. I also liked how during Maja’s flashbacks, that the screen would go dark, representing the dark times that Maja has gone through. Light enough for you to experience her flashbacks, but still too dark to the point that you don’t get a clear look at the person who is abusing Maja, which I found very clever.  

The Secrets We Keep is full of intensity and drama. The scenes showing what happened to Maja and her family during the war, told by the various flashbacks reveal new information each time we are taken back in time with her. However, personally, I found the most intense moment was in Maja’s present time when the police are questioning her at her home about Thomas once he has gone missing.

The Secrets We Keep is an intense dramatic thriller that may be at times uncomfortable to watch, but never fails to deliver, has zero dull moments and will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

The Secrets We Keep will be screening exclusively at Palace Cinemas from the 17th of September for a limited season and will then be available on Foxtel on Demand from the 21st of October.

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