Set in the lower echelons of 1860s Paris, Therese Raquin, a sexually repressed beautiful young woman, is trapped into a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille, by her domineering ... See full summary »
Set in the lower echelons of 1860s Paris, Therese Raquin, a sexually repressed beautiful young woman, is trapped into a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille, by her domineering aunt, Madame Raquin. Therese spends her days confined behind the counter of a small shop and her evenings watching Madame play dominoes with an eclectic group. After she meets her husband's alluring friend, Laurent, she embarks on an illicit affair that leads to tragic consequences. Written by
Very dark and intense story, efficiently and simply told....
When I usually go to see movies which cover a past period of time, I take the trouble of not reading too much about the background or skipping the book it is based on, so that I may judge the product purely on its merits and the strengths of the entire production crew that went into it's making. It pleases me to share with you that "In Secret" ranks as one such fine effort, right from the beginning it transports you to the mid-1800s era of rural France, and tells us the story of little Therese Raquin (Elizabeth Olsen). This effort has good production values, for not even a single moment does your attention drift away from the development of the characters, seeing them grow up, make the ties binding to the extent that Therese clearly suffers from the over bearing domination of her mother-in-law, played brilliantly by Jessica Lange. She gives the entire movie a continuation of the thread for the story, at times you feel her looks, demeanor and restrained but piercing performance, towards the end, are very absorbing. Hats off to the casting crew for making the right call here, she was born to play this role.
I wish to thank my fellow cinema mates - Isabelle and Lisa (you know who you are!) - for sharing their insights with me post the viewing. Correct use of lighting does give this piece the right feel of the suffocating & dreary lower working class Paris conditions, the same dark focus and clever use of perspective subtly nudge the viewer into feeling very tense as the story of betrayal develops. The very same way the characters demons grow, speaks to the way all of them absorb the souls of the players and share them with us flawlessly. As my fellow cinema watchers also shared with me, this movie is not for everyone, and only serious lovers of subtle simple but powerful period stories will appreciate this work. I suspect they are also right in anticipating that we may see many more French literary pieces coming to life on the big screen in the next few years. I give this movie an 8 star rating, simply because I appreciated every frame contributing to the telling of the story, no wasted effort or superfluous diversions whatsoever.
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