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‘Nobody Has To Know’ – Review

‘Nobody Has To Know’ – Review


Told with quiet succinctness and examining what lies beneath the relationships that draw us together, Bouli Lanners’ Nobody Has To Know, is a dramatic, slow-burn film of love and secrets that takes its time to tell its narrative and gives audiences something to ease into.

Phil (Bouli Lanners), a robust middle-aged man suffers a stroke, causing him to lose his memory. Millie (Michelle Fairley), who takes care of him, tells him falsely that they were secretly in love before his accident.

A slow-burn yet ultimately moving affair, writer, director, producer and lead actor Bouli Lanners’ Nobody Has To Know is an intimate examination of personal relationships and the hold that they have over our lives. Known as an Avant-Garde filmmaker who is popular on the festival circuit, Lanners gives audiences an incredibly deep-seated and personal film that examines the meeting of two lost souls, and the comfort and connection that they give one another in a chaotic and often troubling world. Lanners’s filmmaking style is quiet and reserved and he is effortless in his portrayal of farmhand Phil, who grappling with a sudden stroke soon finds a new purpose in his life and a sense of happiness that was deprived of him a long time ago.

But while Lanners may take on the film’s lead role, it’s his focus as a director that shines here and he gives up much of the film’s lead time and attention to Michelle Fairley’s Millie. And it’s a move that works in the film’s favour. Best known to audiences for her work in Game of Thrones and a host of other British films and television, Fairley gives herself over to a deep sense of drama in Nobody Has To Know, and her performance leaves a big impact on the audience. As the quiet, lonely and at times depressive Millie, Fairley presents a woman whose life has seemed to pass her by, until by chance and with her own intention she seeks out a love that could be hers. And it’s a decision that has major consequences for the plot.

Nobody Has To Know is a film that takes its time with its storytelling and this is a purposeful choice on behalf of Lanners. It’s a film that seeks to examine the relationship and secrets of these two people, and with its slower pace, audiences are able to better come to terms with the characters of Phil and Millie and the complex relationship that binds the two of them together. Added to this is the gorgeous cinematography of director of photography Frank van den Eeden, and this is a film that truly draws its audience into its storytelling.

Nobody Has To Know is a drama of deep depth which examines a complex love between two outcasts and its moving story is sure to touch the hearts of audiences.

Image: Roadshow Films