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" In Secret " is an English language film based on quite a formidable novel Thérèse Raquin by France's great Emile Zola who was so noted for the infamous " Dreyfus Case " adamantly defending Dreyfus the man as he was being persecuted for misdeeds he did not commit ( 1890's ) solely because he was Jewish.
As to the novel, subsequent play and movie some hundred years+ after the writing of the novel, this work belongs to the "naturalisme" movement of late 19th century French letters. I must say I was quite impressed with the superb cast of Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, and Jessica Lange back on the big screen after four years on American Horror Story. They make you care for the characters, their horrendous situation and ultimate destinies. The film works so well as it presents a wickedly accurate picture of the lower ends of Parisian life in the 1860's. The set decoration and palette of the cinematography was so impressive as it had to deal with very unsavoury aspects of that era. The screenplay was was superb and never for a moment went outside of the box of this repressed period for women. ( late 19th century France )
The story of a dreadful childhood, eventual marriage, adultery and other gross crimes, all unbelievable themes totally reel you into that sordid world of yesteryear. The writer changed a good bit of the last third of the novel not as to incidents that occur, but how and where they unfold which makes the film all the more dramatic and startling. In the late 19th C it was a given that one would always have to pay for wrongdoing. The final scene by the rocky beach is one breathtaking experience as we experience what we never would have suspected. It's a horrific tragedy on many counts. After the films innumerable crimes and wrong doings, one's heart sinks as we symbolically see a wine bottle sink into the sea. A fabulous film which takes some understanding of the late 19th century manners, traditions and morals to make perfect sense. This is the type film, of humanity, that interests me and stands the test of time because human nature remains constant. No matter the age, we all have desires, ambitions, regrets... and the pangs of of wrongdoing. So Thérèse Raquin works for today's audience as all these emotions and feelings still lie in every human being.
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