TIFF 2018: The Lie Review15 September 2018 / by Nicole Di Donato (author)
Toronto-born director and writer Veena Sud, explores just how far any parent will go in order to protect their child in her Canadian thriller The Lie.
Upon first glance, Kayla seems like any other moody 15-year-old girl. She has self-esteem issues and is struggling to come to terms with her parents' divorce. Kayla's mother, Rebecca, forces her to go to a ballet retreat. Her father, Jay, drives her, and on the way, they spot Kayla's friend Brittany at a bus stop, and pick her up. Brittany says she needs to go to the bathroom, so they stop on the side of the road and the two girls run off to a nearby river. After hearing a scream, Jay runs into the forest and finds Kayla sitting on the side of a bridge, alone. She tells her father that she pushed Brittany into the freezing water because they got into a fight. At first, Jay and Rebecca want to do the right thing but as they evaluate everything they could lose, they decide to cover up their daughter's lethal mistake.
Shot in Toronto and parts of the GTA, The Lie speaks to human nature and shows how something like murder can turn good, honest people into criminals.
The film stars Joey King as Kayla, Peter Sarsgaard as Jay, and Mireille Enos as Rebecca. Sarsgaard was perfectly cast for the role of Jay, a middle-aged rock musician father who never fully grew up. Enos delivers an impressive performance as both a ruthless mother and corporate lawyer. King finds a good balance in portraying Kayla as helpless and desperate but also manipulative and borderline evil.
At times, the film plays as a dark comedy. The tension is so thick that any moment of lightness or absurdity got a laugh from the audience.
During the Q & A after the film, Sud said that when writing The Lie, she didn't intend for it to be comedic as she wasn't thinking about how the film would be perceived by an audience, but rather, how the situation would be viewed and experienced by the characters.
The film takes many unexpected twists and turns, and reveals a shocking truth that changes everything you originally thought the film was about. It's the type of film that will keep you on the edge of your seat and have you asking yourself what you would do if someone you loved committed murder.
The Lie will be playing at the Scotiabank Theatre on Sept. 16 at 2:15 p.m.