Ne le dis à personne (2006)

 


 

8 years ago, Alex's wife was MURDERED. Today… She e-mailed him.

The pediatrician Alexandre Beck misses his beloved wife Margot Beck, who was brutally murdered eight years ago when he was the prime suspect. When two bodies are found near where the corpse of Margot was dumped, the police reopen the case and Alex becomes suspect again. The mystery increases when Alex receives an e-mail showing Margot older and alive.

Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Eight years ago, Margot Beck was murdered by a serial killer. Though the killer has confessed to eight of these murders, he has always denied to be responsible for Margot\’s death. However, the specific mutilations found on her body seem to remove all doubts over his guilt. Today, Alexandre Beck, her husband, is still deeply psychologically injured by the loss of Margot. He temporarily escapes his memories during the day by immersing himself completely in his work as a pediatrician. Outside of that, only the friendship he has formed with Hélène Perkins saves him from total isolation from the rest of the world. But when two new bodies are uncovered near where Margot\’s body was discovered, Margot\’s case is reopened. At the same time, Alexandre receives a strange e-mail with a link to a video-surveillance web-cam and a time at which to watch it…

Written by
Chevalier Bayard

Eight years after his wife was brutally murdered, Alexandre Beck receives an e-mail with images of a woman who, although older, is obviously his wife. At the time of her murder, Beck was with her but he too was severely beaten and remained unconscious for several days after the incident. He approaches his father-in-law, a former senior police officer now retired, for more details about his wife\’s murder but can get little additional information. It soon becomes apparent to him that he is being followed and when he is framed for murdering a friend, he goes on the run now fighting to save his own life.

Written by
garykmcd

Genre: Crime,Drama,Mystery,Thriller

Ne le dis à personne (2006)
   
Release Date: 1 November 2006 (Belgium)
Country: France
Director: Guillaume Canet
Cast:
  • François Cluzet
  • Marie-Josée Croze
  • André Dussollier
  • Kristin Scott Thomas
  • François Berléand
  • Nathalie Baye
  • Jean Rochefort
  • Marina Hands
  • Gilles Lellouche
  • Philippe Lefebvre
  • Florence Thomassin
  • Olivier Marchal
  • Guillaume Canet
  • Brigitte Catillon
  • Samir Guesmi


33 Responses to Ne le dis à personne (2006)

  1. groggo
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    SPOILERS (I THINK)

    There have been many comments about the plot holes in this movie, and I feel better after reading them: I wasn’t the only one scratching my head in bewilderment.

    I was so confused by all the twists, all the characters weaving in and out of the frames, that I simply couldn’t follow what was going on. I began to think I was either dumb or numb, or perhaps both. Why was I getting so confused so often? I had to keep rewinding my DVD, trying to figure out who X was, and why he (or she) was suddenly there, or why he (or she) was suddenly getting bumped off or was suddenly trying to bump someone else off.

    All things considered, this film was well-made and well-photographed, but it is too convoluted and vague. It had two or three plot twists too many. I found it hard to accept that all of the sinister events in the film began and ended with the motives of a SINGLE PERSON: the father of Philippe (played by Jean Rochefort). Yet, for all his importance to the film, we know next to nothing about him. We learn he’s a rich senator who, we are expected to believe, has such influence that he can silence absolutely everyone, including the entire police force. This guy has more power than God, yet we don’t really know who he is.

    You know a film is muddled and flawed when a 15-minute period at the end is required to EXPLAIN the byzantine plot.

    Overall, I think this film was seriously overrated.

  2. Daytripping
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    Just got back from seeing this movie and it’s the best film I’ve seen in 2008 (so far). It’s so suspenseful and has so many twists. I really hope Hollywood doesn’t rape it by making their own version. Amazing performances from everyone. A must see!!!

  3. pullgees
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    I had a job trying to keep up with subtitles, in fact I missed some crucial dialogue. I dislike reading on screen, I have a thought in the back of my mind that I’m not going to finish reading before it changes and this thought is in itself is a distraction to keeping my mind focused. I feel rushed. Any solutions?

  4. theskylabadventure
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    Is it just me, or did the three (and a half) music segments really bother anyone else?

    It just didn’t seem to fit the tone of the film that all of sudden we’re in the middle of a music video. Personally I didn’t even really feel that the songs were all that appropriate, especially the U2 track. We’ve established that Alex can’t get on with his life wothout his wife, and suddenyl he’s one step closer to putting the puzzle together, and we’ve got Bono warbling "I can’t live with or without you" in our faces.

    Call my cynical, but it just seemed liked the director wanted to fit these songs in somehow so he shot some overlong, indulgent montages and/or epiphany moments to accompany them. I don’t know the director’s other films, but this felt very much like someone’s first film.

    I thought this snag went some way to ruining what was otherwise a very fine film. It made the film seem very self-conscious, like they were trying to appeal to that MTV-generation mentality. I know that comment makes me sound old and pompous, but I am actually of that generation myself. I just can’t stand MTV movies.

    Anyone agree? (no trolls)

  5. mscaman
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    I’m wondering if the horse that fell in the equestrian steeple chasing scene was real. In some countries there are no animal regulations for film. Sometimes trip wires are used to show horses falling.

    I like to check the American Humane film ratings where a film will get approval and state "no animals were harmed in the filming…" but I’m not sure about foreign films.

    Here is the film rating website: http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-animals/programs/no-animals-were-harmed/recently-released-movies.html

  6. amerikasend
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    Is it just me or does the main character in this movie look exactly like Dustin Hoffman?

  7. DonnieBiscuits
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    Enjoyed this film, despite the plot holes which have been pointed out. I just wondered if anyone else was reminded of Marathon Man, it’s one of my favourites so it was hard for me to ignore.

    After a little searching I found a reference that said that the Marathon Man novel is one of the Tell No One author’s favourite thrillers so maybe I am not off the mark.

    Here’s what struck me from one viewing in terms of parallels:

    1. Brilliant on foot chase across highways

    2. Persued by a mysterious ‘agents’

    3. ‘Wrong man’ syndrome

    4. References back to dead father

    5. Helped out by street hoods

    6. In possesion of dead father’s gun

    7. Main actor looks really like Dustin Hoffman!

    So not a remake or a ripoff just an inspiration I think.

    BTW lots of refernces to the actor looking like a young Dustin – he looks pretty old to me and not as young as Dustin in MM, although I realise Dustin was something like 31 but playing a student.

  8. samknowurenemy
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    i just got around to watching tell no one last night. i live in a town where foreign or non mainstream cinema is hard to come across so it took until i stumbled on it on dvd. just noticed there is a listing for tell no one 2011, listed as only on imdbpro. quick look on google says it’s the same plot, a remake, i assume, in english. anyone know the details?

  9. true80
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    Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the heck out of the film.

    I just got a kick out of the fact Alex has to be at least 15 years older than his wife, yet they’re supposed to have grown up together.

  10. ginahoy
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    Margo’s father was trying to implicate the serial killer. When he sited the addict’s body, why did he drag dog corpses into the area? I recall dogs were mentioned earlier in the movie, when the thug’s bodies were found. I must have missed something in the dialogue. Did the dogs have something to do with the serial killer’s MO?

  11. af250xxl
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    please help me figure this one out….

    someone explain to my why Margot had to

    shoot Philippe Neuville in the first place?

    sure, he roughed her up… but that’s no

    reason to go after someon with a shotgun…

    or is this some French female thing?

    afterall, Margot was about expose Philippe’s

    crimes, no?

    Margot’s dad sure went through a lot of trouble

    to cover everything up…. would it have been

    easier if he only buried one body(Philipp’s)

    in the woods?

    Thanks! :)

  12. cyennne
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    …assassin, tuer, interrogateur, torturer or whatever you call it. Whoever it was doesn’t seem to be credited in the cast-list so far as I can see. Man, she was scary…

  13. business-83
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    The movie had some big holes in the plot although they are not very evident until the end when the viewer is provided the full account from Margot’s father before he kills himself. There are also some smaller holes that begin to raise questions as the plot unfolds from the beginning. Although some of the holes exist in combination with others, to list them I described them somewhat individually below.

    The Murder of Philippe Neuville

    Probably the biggest holes in the plot are related to the murder of Philippe Neuville. According to the plot, Philippe had been molesting children who lived at the home of the children’s trust and who sometimes worked at the horse stables. Specifically, two months before Margot’s murder at Lake Charmaine, a boy came to Margot distressed and told her he had been molested by Philippe. This prompted Margot in what proved to be poor judgement to invite Philippe to her home in the country where she confronted him, he beat her, and she then shot him with both barrels of a double-barrel shotgun. In the true account provided by Margot’s father only to Alex (as opposed to the account recorded on the wire), Margot’s father, Jacques Laurentin, arrived after the shooting had taken place. He then disposed of the body such that a kid, Helio Gonzales, at the home of the children’s trust would be blamed.

    It is also apparent that Philippe’s body must have been found the next morning because it was also revealed that the time of death was 11 p.m. Accordingly, the time of death would have been less precise on a body discovered much later in time. Also, Margot’s father would have seemingly had a busy night as he would have had to both dump the body and return Philippe’s car from Margot’s residence to its rightful place without being noticed. Thereafter he would have had to return to Margot’s residence for his own car. And, presumably, he did all of this alone.

    This scenario raises a number of questions despite the fact that Philippe’s father was a wealthy, well-known man of influence and despite that Margot’s father was a captain in the police force. It certainly appears questionable that Helio would have been implicated yet convicted with such circumstantial evidence. The police did not have a murder weapon and it was highly unlikely that a kid living at a children’s home would have had access to a shotgun. Obviously, there could not have been very much planted evidence as he was later released from suspicion after providing only the alibi of being with Margot.

    The Implication of Margot to Philippe’s Murder

    According to the plot, Alex’s sister, Anne, eventually tells her friend and lover, Helene, that she was the one who made the photographs of Margot after Margot had been beaten eight years ago. She further acknowledged that it was Phillipe Neuville who had beaten Margot. So then, going back eight years, because Margot had told Anne that she had been beaten by Philippe and because Philippe was either missing or already found dead by that time, Anne had to suspect that Margot might have somehow been involved in Philippe’s murder (because he beat her and now he’s dead).

    It is also questionable why no one else might have been suspicious of Margot being involved in the murder. Did everyone including the police investigators consider it merely a minor coincidence that Margot was all bruised and without proof for her physically bruised condition at the time of the murder, when she worked with the victim in her job? Accordingly, did the police not even routinely question Margot after Philippe’s murder? Then, on top of this coincidence, she later happens to be the alibi for Helio, the number-one suspect. Apparently, the coincidence was more obvious to Gilbert Neuville, who then hired the two thugs to due her in.

    Gilbert Neuville’s Revenge

    According to the plot, Gilbert Neuville decided to take revenge against Margot and despite her warning that she had evidence against his son, he hired two thugs to find the evidence and kill her. According to the plan, Gilbert Neuville and his two hired thugs had to be confident that they would obtain all of the evidence. Presumably, there could have been more evidence than just the photos and the shotgun. It would also have been possible that she had photos and documents in more than one place including a possible statement filed with an attorney. It is also possible that she may not have had the key in her purse, which she stupidly left unguarded in the car. This all appears too coincidental.

    The Two Missing Thugs

    In agreement with the plot it is predictable that Gilbert Neuville would have become suspicious of the fact that his two hired killers simply disappeared. In the plot the hired killers proceed with a plan to kill Margot and set it up to look like it was done by a wanted serial killer. The killing is staged as planned, but Neuville’s two hired killers then just disappear. Although it may have been part of the plan for the killers to not raise suspicions after killing Margot, the killers were known by Margot’s father (in his account to Alex he had referred to them by name), and if they were known by others, their disappearance would have unlikely raised unwanted suspicions. They had also not completed the job that they were hired to do, which was to retrieve the evidence against Neuville’s son.

    With respect to Margot’s father’s plan, it may have perhaps been better had they been beaten, disfigured, and left at the scene by Margot’s father thereby making it look like the two killers had mistakenly walked into the serial-killer’s killing scene and became added victims of the actual serial killer, Serton. As remote as this coincidence might have appeared to Neuville, it would not have been as obvious as Neuville’s hired killers just simply disappearing. However, such a revised plot would have preempted the essential element in the plot for the bodies of the two hired killers to become unearthed eight years later.

    The Corpse of the Heroin Addict

    In the plot Margot’s father uses the body of a woman heroin addict that had been knifed to substitute for Margot’s body in faking her death. Although it may be believable that there may be a constant supply of unidentified bodies in the morgues around a city the size of Paris, it is difficult to believe that it would be possible either to sneak a fresh warm body out of a morgue or to obtain one before it was admitted to the morgue without advanced planning. Even if a body were coincidentally obtained, there remains only a small probability that it would be close to the correct height, weight, hair color, etc.

    Also, despite Margot’s father mutilating the face, an autopsy would undoubtedly distinguish wounds obtained while living or in dying and those administered post mortem. Also, in the account provided by Margot’s father, he stated that he had also considered exhuming a body if needed. Such a statement provides even less credibility to his plan to alter the plan by Neuville and his hired killers. It simply doesn’t make sense that Margot’s father would proceed with a plan that posed risk of death and injury to both Margot and Alex and that would have depended on him producing a substitute body he had not yet obtained.

    The only real merit in Margot’s father’s plan was that if Margot thought that Alex was dead, she would more likely leave the country. However, if the substitute body was not convincing to the police and coroner, it would have become known to Alex (along with everyone else) that Margot was not dead. There was also risk that wherever Margot went, she might follow up on obtaining news information about Alex and discover that he really hadn’t been killed either. In brief, it doesn’t make sense that Margot’s father would proceed without a better plan. The events at Lake Charmaine were simply unpredictable. It could have been Alex who had gone to check on the dog and then the scenario could have changed completely.

    The Safe Deposit Box

    According to the plot, Margot rented a safe deposit box using the name Juliette Langlois to safely store the three photos taken by Anne and the shotgun she used to kill Philippe Neuville. I would suspect that someone would have had to make periodic payments on the box. Although it is possible that she could have prepaid for a minimum of eight years or that payments could have been made anonymously by Margot’s father on her behalf, this subject is not adequately addressed in the movie.

    Although Captain Levkowitch discussed the safe deposit box with Margot’s father in the interview that takes place in her father’s home, neither of them appear to address this obvious question. Later, Levkowitch raises the question while having a discussion with his partner, but never provides an explanation for why the police didn’t have an answer. I would suspect that if the police had the authority to obtain the contents of the box, that they would have had the authority to trace payment records.

    The Key to the Safe Deposit Box

    According to the account provided by Margot’s father, Margot apparently had the key to the safe deposit box in her purse when she and Alex went to Lake Charmaine. In his account to Alex before killing himself, Margot’s father mentions that he had failed to check the pockets of the two men, who had already taken the key from Margot’s purse, and had therefore inadvertently buried the key with their bodies. He called this his only mistake. The account as told suggests that Margot’s father knew of the safe deposit box and of the key in her purse at the time of the planned murder at the lake. The only other possible option is that Margot later informed her father that the key had been in her purse and was then missing.

    Accordingly, this scenario raises several questions. For one, why would Margot be so careless as to carry the key around in her purse? Furthermore, assuming that Margot’s father also knew, why would he, while being aware of the pending plan by Neuville to have Margot killed, also be so careless as to permit her to do this? Obviously, there would have been risk for Neuville in having Margot killed without first obtaining the key (assuming having known that the key was sufficient to retrieve the evidence against his son Philippe).

    Accordingly by this logic, allowing the key to be obtained by the killers would have greatly increase the risk under any scenario or outcome that Margot would be killed. And, directly related to this, it was certainly possible that the one killer (who was betraying Neuville and working with Margot’s father) could have done a second turn around and ultimately betrayed Margot’s father. Although Magot’s father may have learned of the plot through phone taps, it is unlikely that the killer would continue to use the phone to report back to Gilbert Neuville in a double betrayal. In this case it would have been the key (and the related evidence) that would have been the only source of protection for both Margot and her father. It would therefore be unlikely that Margot’s father would be careless about Margot retaining it in her purse.

    The Shotgun

    According to the plot, the shotgun had belonged to Alex’s father and had been acquired by Alex apparently when his father died (though it was later revealed that he had actually been murdered). The shotgun was present at the country home where Margot lived when Alex was serving his residency in Bordeaux and was used by Margot to kill Philippe Neuville the night he beat her. Sometime in the two months after killing Philippe, Margot then placed the shotgun in the deposit box with the three photos taken by Anne. When the police retrieved the shotgun from the safe deposit box, they performed ballistic tests on it and determined that it had been the weapon used to kill Philippe Neuville.

    This scenario also raises several questions. First, why would Margot store the shotgun? One possible reason would be to prevent it from being found by the police or by Gilbert Neuville. Possibly, because it had belonged to Alex’s father, she didn’t want to actually destroy or discard it without his knowledge or permission. According to the plot, the police were apparently aware (possibly through registration records) that Alex owned his father’s shotgun.

    Second, the practice of matching bullets removed from victims to the weapons that fired them is generally based the transfer of grooves or markings created by the rifling in the barrel of the weapon on to the projectile. However, shotguns do not contain rifling and would thereby not be applicable to this common ballistic test. Use of some remaining method for matching the discharge of a shotgun to the weapon is certainly questionable and is not addressed.

    Interestingly, when Captain Levkowitch questions Alex in the elevator when they are leaving Helene’s apartment, Levkowitch asks several questions of Alex regarding the shotgun, but refers to the shotgun as a hunting rifle. Possibly, there was confusion in the French-to-English translation, but the weapon depicted in the scenes portraying Philippe’s murder was clearly a double-barrel shotgun.

    Planting of the Handgun Used to Kill Charlotte

    According to the plot, the police searched Alex’s apartment because he was identified as the last known person to see Charlotte, the woman photographer, alive. When the police arrived at his apartment, they had to sedate the dog, Nina, because she attacked the first policeman through the door. If Charlotte was killed around 10:30 the previous evening, that meant that either the thugs must have planted the handgun before Alex and Nina returned from the Internet cafe the same night or they somehow got past Nina the following morning. Because Alex later used his presence at the Internet cafe as an alibi for the murder, that meant that the murder took place while he was there. Assuming that Alex then went directly home (otherwise he would have had a second alibi), the thugs would have had to travel from the scene of the murder to Alex’s apartment and plant the handgun all before Alex returned. Although this may have been possible, it was not something that could have been planned or presumed with certainty. In the respect that it was not presumably obvious to the viewer, it should have been briefly depicted in the plot, rather than become a mystery and a possible hole in the plot.

    Alex Unexplainably Being Found on the Dock

    According to the plot, the issue of Alex being found unconscious on the dock at Lake Charmaine was treated by the police as an unexplained mystery that cast doubt on Alex’s credibility and the police having the complete story of Margot’s murder. Because there were no witnesses to the events at Lake Charmaine other than Alex, it was simply Alex’s account that he was struck unconscious and fell back into the water when attempting to climb the ladder on the dock. Thereafter he spent three days in the hospital recovering from a concussion.

    In actuality, Alex’s concussion alone would have been a perfectly normal explanation for Alex’s recollection of events not being totally consistent with his being found on the dock. Also, if Alex had actually killed his wife and was inventing a cover-up story, why would he have told a story that created a mystery, when he simply could have stated that he was struck on the head after he climbed out of the water? The use of such an illogical argument as a device to create suspicion by the police begins to diminish the believability of the plot from the time when it was presented.

    The Email Messages from Margot

    According to the plot, Alex eventually figures out while at the Internet boutique that the username "Concert" and password "Olympia" were not literal, but were merely clues for username "U2" and password "1995." However, in both cases when he enters the respective password, the actual characters are displayed on the screen rather than the standard masking of the password by asterisks that is consistent with normal Yahoo web-mail sign in. According, Alex and the movie viewers should have seen the passwords displayed as "******" or "****" instead of "olympia" or "1995" respectively. And, although displaying the entered password was probably intentionally done to aid the movie viewer in understanding that Alex had just then resolved the coded communication for the required username and password, the clue was done at the expensive of creating another real-life anomaly.

    And, by the way, in case you didn’t otherwise notice, the man that arrived at the Internet boutique about the same time as Alex and then sat to his right was the same thug he would later come face to face with immediately prior to being pulled into the van the following day. And, although no explanation was provided for how the thugs had determined the details of the meeting place the following day at 5 p.m., it could probably be assumed that the man sitting next to him either peaked over his shoulder or looked at Alex’s computer screen when Alex was looking away to check on his dog, Nina. This point could have been made a little more obvious since there was no reason in the plot not to.

    Taking Alex Hostage

    In the plot, the lead thug, who worked for Gilbert Neuville, ordered the other four thugs to take Alex hostage when Alex was leaving the park. This appears to have been far too foolish a move for both the thug leader and for Neuville to make. It simply does not make appropriate sense. First, it appeared fairly obvious that Alex did not have a successful meeting with Margot. It also did not appear that Alex was aware that the meeting area was being staked out. Quite obviously, the best move for Neuville’s thugs under these circumstances would have been to tail Alex and try again next time. In contrast, once they took Alex captive, especially without disguises, the four of them would then be identifiable by Alex. If they released him, he would then be even more careful. And, by taking him captive, they limited themselves to forcing him to either tell them what he probably didn’t know or to help intercept messages from Margot and then having to kill him later. Alex undoubtedly would have recognized this fate and would have undoubtedly fought to his death to not identify his wife and expose her to being killed.

  14. qpw3141
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    Firstly, I want to say I thought this was a really excellent film. Yes, there are plot holes but for me they were trivial, at least whilst watching the film. Unlike such nonsenses as Flight Plan and Arlington Road where the holes continually detract from the film.

    However, there is one very major plot hole (unless I have seriously misunderstood something).

    If we are to believe that the paedophile’s father was so desperate for revenge on someone who merely provided an alibi for his son’s murderer that even eight years later he would have wholly innocent people tortured and murdered just on the off chance that the witness (Margot) was still alive, why the hell is the alleged murderer still alive and openly living locally?

  15. melclo
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    I just had to say, Kristin is absolutely gorgeous in this film!

    I’m a big fan of hers anyway, I think she’s an amazingly talented actress so I may be a little biased, but she’s so different in this movie than anything else I’ve seen her in and I have seen her in other French films.

    I read an interview with her a while ago were she said that French cinema allows her to play a much wider range of characters, unlike in British cinema where she’s now generally typecast as the aristocratic/Lady of the Manor types, which is why she would never have even been considered to play the part of a lesbian in Britain, but this movie (even though she’s in it very little) just proves what a versatile actress she is and I only wish she’d have had more screen time to showcase her wonderful acting skills!

    "I’ll tell you what I’d like to do next, I’d like to fuc_king murder somebody…you maybe"

  16. af250xxl
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    just how corrupt are the French police? as bad as the movie claims?

  17. d-503
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    can anyone recommend other great french movies? i’ve only seen a few & was impressed with all of them. i saw in another thread someone mentioning that the french are great at the thriller genre in particular. any suggestions? btw, i’ve seen irreversible(i know that’s gonna get mentioned :p)

  18. mattregio
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    Yea or Nay?

  19. pullgees
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    Just an idea. I thought during the police chase it was going to turn into a Parkour scene, it didn’t and probably wouldn’t have been appropriate for that character a doctor.

  20. pullgees
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    What a bitch and the way she died was stylish. French film makers have a knack for that.

  21. fanaticita
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    Who were they anyway? Police or??

  22. IHateMondays
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    Hey, watched the movie last night and I have to say I’m surprised to see so many write that the premise itself was illogical or that it required massive suspension of disbelief or revealed too few clues to be satisfying to the viewer. Unraveling Margot’s strange history was sufficient to plant the suspicion that she may be complicit in the killings and her father’s hostility sufficient to suggest he knew more than he was willing to let on. It leaves a lot unsaid in regards to the details of how evidence is faked and why a specific course of action is taken, but I thought that this is an exceptional situation. The villains in this story are not only resourceful and ruthless; they are also incredibly well-connected and incredibly corrupt with a very extensive reach. I found it interesting to consider all the proposed plot holes but in most cases I returned to my original conclusion that the story was logical. Am I completely out there? A few “plot holes” that supposedly undermine the plot and my thoughts below:

    Why does the father not simply alert Margot to the hit? Why does he risk waiting until she is captured to save her?

    Margot’s father cannot simply sabotage the hit. Neuville will simply come after Margot again. It is crucial that Margot, Alex and Neuville all believe a hit occurred almost as planned. Alex and Neuville should believe that Margot is dead, while Margot must believe that Alex is dead. With Alex dead, she has no reason to remain in France and every reason to go. Therefore, Margot’s father must not only create the illusion that Margot is dead, but he must separate her from her husband long enough to make his death appear plausible. Lastly, he must hide his own involvement. So the hit must begin as planned. Only after Margot and Alex are separated can he interfere and the first gunman has been shot is it safe to intervene and shoot the second.

    Why is evidence of drug addiction never investigated? How is the father able to remove the photos from the autopsy report without getting caught?

    He is clearly a very powerful man and no stranger to corrupt practices. He has already identified the body. The police force already directs their suspicion towards Alex and the serial killer. It is fantastical but not impossible that he would take advantage of this situation and use his means to suppress this evidence. The alternate explanation is that her experimentation with drugs is not considered relevant and the system too corrupt or too bloated with bureaucracy to catch the missing photographs.

    How can Margot spend years without knowledge of her husband’s existence? Does she neither read her own obituary nor follow the investigation of her alleged murder?

    I say it’s possible. At this point, she has broken off all contact with family and friends. Google has yet to be invented in 1997 and establish the following and popularity it carries today. Even if she were to search for her husband in the years after, he possesses a relatively common name and has since changed his residence and employment. He had only just completed his medical training at the time of her disappearance and so there is no indication that Margot would be familiar with the pediatric hospital at which he works 8 years later. A search engine would return a number of hits. Even if Margot were to find Alex contact information though his place of work, we do not know if it would provide enough information to identify the itself as that of her husband. Some hospitals provide photographs and biographies of their staff but some don’t.

    Digitized news media is available, yes, but is less extensive and widely read than it is today. Margot and Alex appear to live in a relatively small and isolated community at the time. If the paper in which her obituary is published and in which his obituary is expected to appear is merely a small local paper, she might not find either online nor expect to. As far as news coverage, I admit, this would receive some coverage but not necessarily the sort of overwhelming international notoriety we might expect. To use an example, the Craigslist killer story was big on the news when I left the U.S. for Italy but virtually non-existent abroad, and that was months ago, not years. If Margot were living in Madrid and soon after Buenos Aires, it seems conceivable that such news would escape her.

    People argue that she would follow the case simply to hear her husband’s name among the victims and then realize he “survived” her or would hear her own name among the victims, but I’m not sure. Is she aware of the lengths her father went to make her death resemble the work of a serial killer? Would she necessarily become aware? Even in the most high profile cases, the number of victims is often heard far more than the names of the victims themselves. Unless the serial killer really limited his activity to her neighborhood alone (and we don’t have evidence that he did) I’m not sure “Serial Killer in France” would really be enough to pique her interest and shake her out of her grief long enough to pay attention. Maybe this requires some suspension of disbelief but not the huge leap people make it out to be.

    Why does Margot not contact Alex by mail or phone? Why 8 years later?

    It’s 2006. The case has been reopened and become larger in scope. This time it is more difficult to escape the news. Suddenly, Margot realizes her husband is still alive. The news provides his current whereabouts, thus making him easy to contact. However, she is smart enough to know that reopening the case of her death makes the world more dangerous for her: Neuville is also certainly monitoring her husband. This may extend to intercepting his mail, maybe even his monitoring his phone calls. A simple letter or email is too easily disregarded as a hoax or a cruel prank, but sending so much as a photo carries the risk of providing Neuville with definitive proof of her survival.

    Sending an email with a title that only Alex would find significant (that would appear to anyone else as spam), directing him to a password-protected site directing him to a transient low-resolution image of herself transmitted from a non-descript and evidently foreign location, warning him that they “are watching”—all appears a clever way of alerting him to the actual circumstances without leaving tangible proof of her existence.

  23. drunken_dogg
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    First off, love the film and book.

    My only problem was the novels final twist, which thankfully was not included in the movie.

    David Beck killed Brandon Scope? It just left me with more questions since everything else tied up so nicely.

    Can anyone explain what exactly happened and how Beck ended up killing Brandon?

  24. monimm18
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    Am I the only one who found the ending too melodramatic? I think it would have been so much better if the film stopped at the moment Alex sensed Margot was approaching and left us with that image: Margot walking towards Alex and the tree that symbolized their love. They had to dumb it down for the slow pokes who like to see people having tearful bursts of hysteria (while sappy music plays in the background), or were they trying to make sure it was clear Alex and Margot got back together?

    Although, going by some of the posts on this board, even such an explicit ending wasn’t clear enough for some…

    "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

    Oscar Wilde

  25. nbs5
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    Seriously, who ordered Alex’s ticket to Buenos Aires?

    We must assume that Margot ordered the ticket, I guess. But why would she order the ticket under his name? Wouldn’t she know that the police would see his name and come to the airport? What would her ordering the tickets accomplish at all?

    Any insight would be appreciated. (The only thing I could think is that she didn’t realize the severity of the situation till she saw the news report implicating Alex in her friend’s murder. Maybe???)

    Help!

  26. fumusic
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    did gonzales (the street punk who was said to have killed philippe neuville) really have an affair with margot? if not, what was the point of implying that they were having an affair? this wasn’t really explained in the film.

  27. frodaddy-1
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    So was she faithful to Alex, or did she sleep with that guy (name escapes me) as her lawyer said?

    Kind of ruins my respect for her if she was unfaithful.

  28. dickensintheair
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    Bring animals to public places with you as often as you can.

    "You’re confusing hair with schizophrenia. Common mistake." – missgreen16

  29. BigEmpty
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    I dont get it. I think the beautiful flowers in the lake is cheesier. There is nothing unusual about a buck/deer in a forest. I see them all the time. Unless it’s a symbol or code that I don’t know about.

    "All wanted was a Pepsi. Just one Pepsi. And she won’t give it to me!"

  30. randl1999-2
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    Both in the book and in the film, when the bodies of the two thugs are discovered, it is reported that they were killed 5 years ago. Maybe I’m not reading or hearing closely enough, but the math doesn’t work for me, since the "killing" of Margot(or Elizabeth in the book)took place EIGHT years previously. Weren’t they killed the same night?

  31. CelticLord
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    This was a gorgeously filmed piece of merde.

    Overlong chase scene on foot "balanced" by overlong exposition on the part of the father…{{{UGH}}}..

    And enough of such explicit violence toward women ~ the broken jaw, the bruised and lacerated face ~ literally gave me nightmares.

    I hated it and the fact that anyone could call this entertainment is a sign of an end culture..

    "Faith is Fidelity to the Insights you’ve gained."

  32. Anonymous
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  33. santinoxxx
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    Hi,

    All those who did not understand or like the French version maybe coz they r not used 2 reading subtitles need not worry.There’s an American remake in the works, so u should see an English version in a couple of years.Just hope it’s as good if not better!

    Regards,

    Santino

    "THE THINGS THAT U OWN,END UP OWNING U".

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