Home Movie Reviews ‘The Lie’ – Review
‘The Lie’ – Review

‘The Lie’ – Review


The tragic disappearance and murder of Grace Millane shocked the world and would cause a country to mourn and seek answers as to why a beautiful young woman would suddenly just be taken. Much has been written and reported by the media on this infamous case, and now director Helena Coan brings to life the truth of his case in a harrowing but important documentary watch.

An unwavering victim-centred look at how one shocking murder case highlights the threat that women face in their day-to-day lives, The Lie confronts the harmful attitudes about violence towards women that continue to permeate society. In addition to first-hand accounts from key participants and witnesses, the film makes extensive use of chilling CCTV recordings previously unseen, chronicling the perpetrator’s movements and disturbing police interview footage in which he unleashes a litany of lies.

Through its sensational coverage, many New Zealanders feel they understand the Grace Millane case, but The Lie gives audiences the truth for the very first time, and the result is a confronting and powerful documentary film. Told from the perspective of Detective Inspector Scott Beard, the lead investigator on the case, The Lie reconstructs the events that led to Garce’s disappearance, her tragic murder, and the sensationalised trial that followed and that brought her killer Jesse Kempson to justice. Through extensive CCTV footage and materials from the case, director Helena Coan takes audiences inside the harrowing events that occurred, leaving audiences shocked, angry and desperately hoping they could turn back time.

Helena Coan is steadfast in her work to bring to life the complete truth of what happened to Grace and to banish any of the lies that her killer, the repellent Jesse Kempson, shared. In viewing this film, you grow to hate Kempson even more, and you see how manipulative and evil he is. A true sociopath and predator whose fate has been kinder than he deserves, Kempson’s true nature is brought to life, and the lies he spun are destroyed forever. The focus of The Lie is to bring to light the truth, and that’s what Coan has for Grace with this documentary, but it leaves you with a raw feeling.

With the presence of Detective Inspector Scott Beard as the film’s central narrator, you do come to understand the soul of a policeman and of the pursuit of justice that these men and women carry within the New Zealand Police force. Their bravery and commitment to bring to life the truth will stick with audiences, and this is a very intense revelation from Beard. While it’s hard to watch, this is an important piece of documentary filmmaking, and Helena Coan has done everything in her power to tell the truth in the hardest possible circumstances.

The Lie is a film that is not a conformable watch, but it’s an important watch. With its presentation, the truth of the Grace Millane case comes out, and audiences will be deeply affected by it.

Image: Brainstorm Media