<script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- Showbiz Portal Bottom 1 300x250, created 10/15/10 --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:300px;height:250px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-1272644781333770" data-ad-slot="2530175011"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script>
Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 27, 2021



‘THE LIE’ is a drama-thriller based on a German movie, “We Monsters”, about a dysfunctional family undone by a lot of stupid decisions that its members make. 

We became interested in it because the mother, Rebecca, is played by Mireille Enos, whose very cool kind of acting in the TV series “The Killing” and “Hanna” we really enjoyed so much. 

The film starts with her taking her daughter Kayla (Joey King of the TV series “The Act” about Munchausen by proxy syndrome) to her former husband, Jay (Peter Skarsgaard), who will then take Kayla to a retreat she is attending over the next few days. 

On their way to the retreat house, while driving through snow-covered roads, Kayla sees her friend Brittany (Devery Jacobs) on a bus stop and asks her dad to stop their car and to give Britanny a ride.

Jay complies and later, along the deserted road, Brittany asks Jay to pull over, as she needs to go pee somewhere in the frozen woods. Kayla goes with her and when they have not returned after sometime, Jay looks for them, hears Kayla screaming and sees her alone on a bridge. 

Britney is nowhere to be seen and Kayla says they were just horsing around when she pushed Britney down into the icy river because she’s being a bitch. 

Jay goes down the river and looks for Britney but doesn’t find her anymore, presuming she must have been taken away by the swift current. 

They are both terribly shaken and they proceed to Rebecca’s office not knowing what to do. The panicking Jay and Rebecca decide not to go to the police but to protect their daughter at all cost.

The next day, Britney’s dad, Sam (Cas Anvar), comes looking for her. This starts a series of lies, specially when Sam later becomes very suspicious. 

To cover up, Jay and Rebecca even try to transfer the blame to Sam and make him the prime suspect for allegedly beating up and abusing his own child. As one can easily deduce, from hereon, things get from bad to worse. 

The film is directed by Veena Sud (producer of “The Killing), who obviously wants to make viewers to regard it as a question of morality: in a nightmarish scenario, how far would you go to protect your own child even if you know that she is wrong? 

The problem is that our sympathy for the couple slowly gets eroded because of their own selfishness and the contrivances in the storytelling that become quite difficult to believe. 

This could have been a good character study about a family in crisis who may be black or white or gray. 

But after a while, we find ourselves losing our interest in their their supposedly nerve-wracking plight and, as they go on committing more foolish mistakes, we find ourselves saying: “Buti nga sa inyo!”

Enos, as usual, is always a pleasure to watch on screen. 

She’s very convincing as the beleaguered but protective mom who wants to shield her erring daughter, but there’s just no spark at all between her and Sarsgaard as the shocked couple who cannot fathom the deep crisis their only daughter has gotten them into. 

Joey King also plays an angst-filled character who, in the end, turns out to be not only hard to sympathize with as you get to believe in her less and less, until she comes out as a  totally repulsive young woman.  

The unimaginable twist in the ending is not a rewarding pay off for viewers. It undercuts everything acceptable that goes before it and becomes more of a comeuppance to us viewers for sitting through the whole film. 

After all the moral dilemma the characters faced, you feel that the missing piece of the whole puzzle doesn’t really fill in the space intended for it. 

As you think of Kayla’s past actions and realize how things came together because of her, her missteps are simply too egregious to be overlooked.