Publicity Stills of "Where the Truth Lies"
(Courtesy from Festive Films)

Genre: Drama/Mystery
Director: Atom Egoyan
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Colin Firth, Alison Lohman and Rachel Blanchard
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: GV & Festive Films
Rating: R21
Official Website: http://wherethetruthliesfilm.com/

Opening Day: 20 April 2006


In the 50's, Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth) are the most beloved entertainers in America. They are at the top of their game, wealthy, powerful, and enormously popular, when something terrible happens to threaten their success. Inexplicably, a dead beauty turns up in their hotel suite. Their reputations are sullied but, thanks to rock-solid alibis, neither is charged with the crime. Their partnership, on the other hand, is destroyed. The reason for the break-up of Morris and Collins becomes one of show business' greatest mysteries.

Movie Review:

Perhaps its reputation for the famous threesome preceded this film, that lure of the skin being one of the attractions to account for its overcrowded preview. In reality, Where The Truth Lies is a terrific mystery which draws the audience into its plot, slowly feeding our curious minds which always want to find out more. It had the effect of providing clues bit by bit, and allowing your brain cells to go into overdrive, testing out possibilities and hypotheses as the narrative develops on screen.

Based on a novel by Rupert Holmes, director Atom Egoyan manages to keep the suspense throughout the movie by having the audience recount the fateful events from different points of view, of course some are made up, modified, or total red herrings. Everyone has something to hide, an agenda of their own to fulfill, and it will have you patiently wait for each nugget of information to answer burning questions.

Most celebrities are perceived to be leading lives full of sex, drugs, rock and roll. Needless to say, the paparazzi have never been favoured by celebrities, especially when their private lives are encroached upon. Being famous, you might live in constant fear that your deepest darkest secret, once revealed, will impact your popularity and career. Lanny Morris (Kevin Bacon) and Vince Collins (Colin Firth) are successful show-business buddies, and their electrifying pairing
made them household names in the 50s. Their latest venture is a massive telethon to raise funds for polio sufferers, but having successfully hosting it and coming out unscathed, everyone was in for a rude shock when a dead naked girl (Rachel Blanchard) was found in the bathtub of their hotel room.

Hence the mystery began. Who was the girl? What was she doing there? What exactly happened in that room, and more importantly, who murdered her?

15 years later, Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), a beautiful young journalist, embarks on an
investigative look into that fateful day. The Morris-Collins partnership had since disbanded, but
she manages to track them down (love that Pan-Am moment), and convinces them to tell her their side of the story. However, being a fan of the both of them, how would she stay impartial for her work, and being personally entangled with the both of them, just made matters worse. But in most mysteries, most characters are more than meets the eye, even Karen.

As the plot progresses right until the ending, you will be left guessing all the way. What works is that this is no simple run-off-the-mill mystery. It is layered, and you'll wonder at each point in time, who's the manipulator, who's calling the shots, and who's working behind the scenes. The delivery as a mystery cannot be faulted as it presented the re-tellings of events in a noir like fashion with narration, but if I had a gripe, it would be the final revelation which could have been done in a more engaging fashion. Not that it didn't work, but it could have been done better than the conventional two-way dialogue presented.

Kevin Bacon, the central figure in most celebrity 6-degree games, provides many facades to his
entertainer Lanny Morris role. The comedian, singer, charmer, buddy, all rolled into one. Providing the opposite is Colin Firth, while having a chameleon of a role as well, has slightly more darker undertones, especially with a surprising mean streak. Perhaps it fit the notion of actors/entertainers well, that when on screen, their persona is the all-friendly-all-smiles front, that who will truly know what the person is like off screen, and in private? Do teen starlets need to shed their clothes to get recognition? Alison Lohman and Rachel Blanchard did their tour of duty here, though you can argue whether the nudity was required and really essential
to the plot.

So go ahead, don't be shy if you're attracted to just the skin. You'll be in for a surprise as you get drawn into the mystery this movie has to offer.

Movie Rating:

(An satisfying suspense filled mystery which plays into the audience's curiousity)

Review by Stefan Shih


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