The Secrets We Keep Movie review plugged in – Story – A young woman, Maja and her husband Lewis try to rebuild their lives after the Second World War. Maja struggles to overcome the effects of the war and tries to live a quiet life in the suburb where they recently moved. However, Maja’s life is turned upside down when a neighbor suspects that he may be a soldier he believes is committing war crimes against them. After this, Maja kidnaps her neighbor to get revenge for the war crimes she believes she has committed.
The Secrets We Keep Movie Review plugged in & Film Summary – Maja and Lewis met in Europe while he served with the medical corps in the war. They have a young son Patrick, and life is generally quite good for the family. While playing with Patrick at the park one day, Maja hears a man whistling and recognises the tune from her time during the war. It brings back a traumatic memory, and Maja firmly believes this man Thomas (Joel Kinnaman), is a Nazi officer who raped her and killed her sister. Her pleasant demeanour fades away as she kidnaps him and holds him hostage in her basement. All she wants from Thomas is a confession of his war crimes.
The Secrets We Keep hinges on Maja, and Noomi Rapace brings the right kind of intensity to the role. Her performance makes you question Maja’s sanity and whether her memory of events is reliable. Maja turns from a loving wife and doting mother to a vicious, damaged victim hell-bent on vengeance. Rapace keeps you invested by mixing a compelling amount of survivor’s guilt as well. Chris Messina also stands out as Lewis, trying to instil some morality to the entire situation. Messina plays very well along with Rapace, and their scenes have the right amount of chemistry to ramp up the emotional factor. Joel Kinnaman is somewhat subdued as Thomas.
The Secrets We Keep movie review plugged in – The film also tackles moral questions on where to draw the line with seeking justice, even when it involves a loved one. There’s a lot of unresolved trauma faced by Maja, who chooses to deal with it in ways that test the boundaries of her marriage, and Lewis finds himself in a dilemma. But the suspense takes a while to build during the first half or so. There are moments of exploration where the characters spend time looking into what they tell their loved ones, and how much of that is true. This is a risky approach, and director Yuval Adler isn’t always able to make the most of it. Some film buffs will be able to identify the foreshadowing that makes the climax slightly predictable. But, the performances and premise make for a reasonably entertaining watch, even if it’s not unique.