Lies We Tell (2017) – Film Review

lies we tell film review harvey keitel

Director: Mitu Misra
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Harvey Keitel, Sibylla Deen
Certificate: 15

by Steve Crabtree – @stevecrab

Coming across a modern day action/thriller that grips you without relying on over-the-top special effects is quite rare. But Lies We Tell is a welcome exception that bucks that trend.

Set in Bradford, Lies We Tell is the debut feature-film for Mitu Misra, a British-Indian film director. It’s the story of Donald (Gabriel Byrne), the trusted driver of billionaire Demi (Harvey Keitel) who, when Demi dies, is left with the task of destroying any evidence of his boss’s affair with beautiful Muslim mistress Amber (Sibylla Deen) to protect his legacy from his family.

The accidental meeting of Donald and Amber leads the story in to a heart-warming, yet dramatic tale of cultural differences, emotion, crime and lies.

lies we tell film review gabriel byrne

“Life isn’t going to be easy”

The confident Amber seems to have a future all planned out. But the vulnerable version of her knows that family situations mean it’s uncertain if she’ll ever fulfil her ambitions. Her gangster cousin KD ensures that Amber’s life isn’t going to be easy, and has been doing so since they were 16-years-old.

Lies We Tell has got its gritty moments, but it isn’t dark. Imagine genuine Yorkshire charm sprinkled over a world of lies, bad morals and crime. And seeing Harvey Keitel driven around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside is worth the entrance fee to this film alone.

This independent, Bradford-based film starts well, but there’s a period where the tempo grinds and we’re on the receiving end of too many sub-plots and information all too soon. It makes the inital storyline difficult to follow.

lies we tell film review movie

“Highlights a number of cultural and modern day issues”

But it soon unfolds in to a great show piece, drawing you in to the tale. The genius use of plot twists throughout the film – some which are incredibly jaw dropping – keeps the excitement flowing, and I jumped at least three times during the movie.

It highlights a number of cultural and modern day issues. There’s some wicked injections of humour too, which add to the enjoyment of the film. The director has cleverly left a mid-pause in the dialogue with these, knowing when a watching audience will laugh.

By the end of the film, you can see why Lies We Tell has won awards. The script took 12 years to write, and the film has been funded by Bradford businesses. The final outcome is something that the writers and investors can very be pleased with.


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