Sunday, December 04, 2005

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES - sleazy thriller, no more, no less

Expectations run high for WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. It is directed by that darling of the Indie scene, Atom Egoyan and stars Colin Firth (the original and best Mr. Darcy) and Kevin Bacon, who dazzled me with his sympathetic portrayal of a paedophile in THE WOODSMAN last year. In addition, the love interest is "rising star" Alison Lohman, last seen with Nic Cage in MATCHSTICK MEN. Not only are the cast and crew high quality but the director's aim is grand. Atom Egoyan has attempted to create an old fashioned film noir - those wonderful 1940s movies that were intricately plotted movies with tough guys, wicked women, murders, incest, theft and glamour. Re-creating that kind of ethereal, dangerous mood is difficult in these days of colour film and special effects but a few movies have pulled it off with great success, not least the superb L.A CONFIDENTIAL. WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is nowhere near as successful but neither is it a bad film.

The plot centres around a 1950s comedy double-act in the style of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Colin Firth plays the straight man and Kevin Bacon his comedy stooge. They live the "Frat pack" lifestyle to the max - hot chicks, fast cars, alcohol, hotel rooms. However, when an actress is found dead in their bath-tub it all goes wrong. Fast forward to the 1970s when a young ambitious reporter tries to unravel the hushed-up scandal.

The plot synopsis makes the movie sound a lot more interesting than it really is. At heart, it is just another sleazy erotic thriller. There is nothing wrong with that but it seems a bit of a waste of effort for Egoyan and his cast to come up with something so one-dimensional. Sad to say that in years to come, if this movie is remembered at all, it will be as a footnote in film school text books on censorship. Thanks to a menage a trois between Colin Firth, Kevin Bacon and Rachel Blanchard, featuring lots of "thrusting" the movie received the rarely used NC 17 rating in the US, limiting its ability to earn back its budget.
WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is already on limited release in the US and the UK. It goes on release in France on the 21st December 2005 and in Germany on the 2nd February 2006.


  1. I refer you to my comment on Doom. Why pay money to see people play computer games for you, or to watch people have sex?

  2. So you can find out if you're doing it wrong?

  3. Oh please. I reckon guys watching porn and having ridiculous expectations of what sex is contributes to a lot of unhappy relationships.