Tell No One Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Alexandre Beck (Francois Cluzet) and Margot (Marie-Jose Crozet) have known each other since childhood. They grew up, married and were happy until that night in the lake house, when Margo was killed, and Alexander was stunned by a blow to the head, from which he lost consciousness and fell into the water. Alexander was found on the shore, where it is not clear who pulled him out, he was in a coma for some time, but nevertheless got out and recovered.

Eight years have passed since that terrible night. Alexander is still terribly worried about the loss of his wife and tries to forget himself with work – he is a pediatrician. He is greatly supported by Helen Perkins (Kristin Scott Thomas), his sister’s friend and lover.

From time to time, Alexander and his sister are visited by police lieutenant Philippe Maynard (Philippe Lefebvre), who continues to ask questions and find out all the circumstances of the case, despite the fact that a serial killer was accused of Margo’s death, on whose conscience there are two more people in those parts.

At some point, Alexander receives a letter in the mail, the title of which contains information known only to him and Margot. The letter contains a link to a public video service, which posted a recent footage from a street camera. The video shows a woman who looks very much like Margot.


I recently wrote a review of the new film by Guillaume Canet “Belle epoch”, and I was asked in the comments why there is no review of his most sensational film “Tell No One”. And indeed, in Canet, in addition to Belle Epoque, I saw Little Secrets, the not-so-successful continuation of Little Secrets of a Big Company, and the strange comedy Forever Young. And his most sensational film “Don’t tell anyone” – won four “Cesars” in 2007 and five more nominations – I somehow missed. Decided to look.

The script of this film was written by Guillaume Canet together with Philippe Lefebvre (they both played episodic roles in the film), based on the sensational American detective bestseller “Tell No One” by Harlan Cobin, released in 2001. Canet and Lefebvre only transferred American realities to French soil.

The plot of the picture is twisted very dashingly, the dynamics of the narration is excellent. In general, the film looks more than exciting, I just could not tear myself away from it. And even the involvement of various characters in the action, about which it was initially completely incomprehensible who they were, who they worked for and what goals they had, did not bother me at all, because gradually everything was explained and what was happening formed a clear picture.

In American films, it often happens that the picture seems to look very interesting, but when you get to the final and start to unwind events from the end to the beginning, you suddenly realize that there is no normal causal relationship at all, that everything is twisted anyhow and looks extremely unreliable.

Here – not so. The cause-and-effect relationships from beginning to end and from end to beginning seem quite logical, especially when the whole intrigue is fully revealed. Of course, there are certain cinematic assumptions, but in general, everything is coherent and really exciting.

The main character played by Francois Cluzet is excellent. The whole film is actually based on his character, he is in the spotlight all the time. Alexander Beck, still not recovering from the death of his wife, finds himself in a whirlpool of events, sometimes very dangerous, and tries with all his might to get to the truth, because he understands that for all these eight years he did not know the whole truth. By the way, Cluse received “Cesar” for this role. (And Cluzet played in Canet’s “Little Secrets”, where actors Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte and Joel Dupuche also migrated from this film.)

The great actor Gilles Lellouche in Don’t Tell No One appears at the very beginning in a weird scene, but in the second half of the movie his character Bruno has some cool scenes and explains what triggered the scene at the beginning of the movie. By the way, Lellouch is portraying an Arab here, and it looks very funny.

The good British actress Kristin Scott Thomas was fluent in French from childhood, was a student at the Paris School of Art in her youth, was married to the French doctor Francois Olivien for eighteen years and lived in Paris for decades. So she not only repeatedly starred in French films, but even played in France on the theater stage. Here she has a very good, although, unfortunately, a very small role and she really managed to shine only at the beginning of the film in a conversation between Helen and Alexander.

A very interesting role is played by Andre Dussolier, who played the father of Margot Jacques here. Jacques is a former policeman, a very strict, tough and adamant person. Dussolier was nominated for the César Award for this role, but he did not win it.

The hardened lady lawyer Elizabeth Feldman was played by my favorite actress of my childhood – Natalie Bay. Her lawyer turned out to be very effective – she twisted the rope from the police.

Jean Rochefort appeared here in a very small episodic role, and this actor is always a pleasure to see.

The picture is staged very soundly: you can’t even say that this is only the second full-length film for Canet. (In general, as an actor, he starred in sixty-eight films and TV shows.) And some scenes were staged very, very difficult, such as the scene of Alexander’s escape from the clinic when the police are chasing him. How they even filmed the scene of Beck running across a busy multi-lane freeway – I don’t understand at all.

It was an excellent film, watched with great pleasure and with undivided attention. It’s good that I didn’t miss it after all and I strongly recommend watching it to those who, like me, for some reason didn’t watch it at one time.

PS It is interesting that the United Statesn critics mostly scold the picture. And the action, they say, winds to no avail, and the result is ridiculous, and the director has become stupid.


Don’t tell anyone / Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One movie meaning

Director: Guillaume Canet Cast: François Cluzet, Marie-Jose Crozet, André Dussolier, Kristin Scott Thomas, François Berleand, Natalie Bay, Jean Rochefort, Guillaume Canet, Olivier Marchal, Marina Hands, Gilles Lellouche, Philippe Lefebvre

Budget: $12.6M, Global gross: $33.4M
Detective thriller, France, 2006, 131 min.

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