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The Perfect Secret

The Perfect Secret

Deutschland 2019 - with Elyas M’Barek, Florian David Fitz, Frederick Lau, Jessica Schwartz, Jella Haase, Karoline Herfurth, Wotan Wilke Möhring ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Direction:Bora Dagtekin
Cinema release:31.10.2019
Production country:Deutschland 2019
Running time:Approx. 110 min
Rated:From 12 years

Was this such a good idea? When, at a dinner party among friends, they talk about an acquaintance whose girlfriend dumped him after she found telltale cheating messages in his phone, the resulting discussion about honesty culminates in an explosive game: everyone puts their smartphones on the table, and throughout dinner, all incoming messages are read aloud, all phone calls are put on loud, and all WhatsApp messages are shown. Sounds fun? It is at the beginning - until the first delicate secrets are revealed and the seemingly perfect facade of the circle of friends begins to crumble. Whether they will all still leave eating as couples and friends is soon written in the stars.

The Perfect Secret is inspired by the 2016 Italian feature film Perfetti Sconosciuti by Paolo Genovese (2.7 million admissions in Italy alone). The film was adapted in numerous countries such as France, Spain, Korea and Turkey and became a worldwide phenomenon. In Germany, only the French version Le Jeu by Fred Cavayé has been released on Netflix so far. In a direct comparison, the version by Fack Ju Göthe director Bora Dagtekin does better, as it has better timing, especially in the comedic moments. Otherwise, however, the films are almost identical until the last act - apart from the same penetrating way of placing surreptitious advertising, which already attracted negative attention in Fack Ju Göthe. But as with the humour, Dagtekin just doesn't seem to be a fan of the subtle kind.

Yes, the gags are a little too flat at times, but are saved by the delightfully biting dialogue elsewhere. Overall, the film lives from its basic idea and from the good-humored ensemble, in which especially the somewhat against the grain cast Elyas M'Barek and Florian David Fitz can convince. The joy of the actors and actresses is infectious and ensures a high entertainment value even in somewhat weaker moments. In addition, as a viewer you catch yourself again and again thinking about what you would rather keep secret on your smartphone and how much you trust your own partner. What secrets might he/she have? Does one really want to know everything? Or what secrets could really shake one's relationship to its foundations?

You can also see why the initial idea of the Italian original works so universally well and is met with such great audience interest everywhere. Whether this German remake, with its very own ending, is one of the more successful versions is a moot point at this point. The fact is that the finale of the original with its twist is clearly more interesting and also more socially critical. Dagtekin, who surprisingly claims to be the sole screenwriter despite many almost identical dialogues compared to the French remake, prefers to serve his viewers a more clearly structured happy ending. Kind of a shame. Still, that does little to change the fact that the film is an entertaining comedy with some flaws, but also with plenty of potential for discussion. For this there is then, with small deductions in the B grade, quite a deserved: Worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The Perfect Secret (Deutschland 2019)"
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