The Secrets We Keep is a drama about the aftermath of trauma endured during World War II. Maja (Noomi Rapace) lives a quiet life in an American town. One day she sees the man she is sure tortured and raped her near the end of the war. The film is streaming on Hulu and can be rented on Prime Video.
I saw reviews comparing The Secrets We Keep to Death and the Maiden, a 1994 film directed by Roman Polanski. I haven’t seen that 1994 film, and will not be watching it. Any comments I make are based solely on my thoughts about The Secrets We Keep.
It’s been 15 years since the war ended. Maja has an American family. Her husband Lewis (Chris Messina) is a doctor. She’s never told him the truth about herself or her experiences during the war.
She’s in the park with her son. She hears a man whistle for his dog. She recognizes the distinctive whistle. And she recognizes the man. She follows him and later kidnaps him.
Finally, she tells Lewis her secrets. Who she really is, where she really spent the war, and what a group of German soldiers did to her and her sister. Then she tells him she has Thomas (Joel Kinnaman) in the trunk of their car.
Lewis and Maja tie Thomas up and keep him in their basement. Maja wants him to confess, to admit what he did. He claims to be a Swiss man who was merely a clerk during the war.
I thought the plot of the story was powerfully relevant. It is the time now to #BelievetheWomen, of #TimesUp. Here was Lewis, an enlightened and educated man, a man who had seen his wife’s nightmares for years – but he didn’t believe her. He didn’t believe the woman. He wouldn’t believe it without proof. Hearing it from her wasn’t proof.
They kept Thomas for several days. When his wife Rachel (Amy Seimetz) reported him missing, Maja befriended her. They had long talks while their children played together. After every conversation with Rachel, Maja went home and used what she’d learned to try to pry the truth out of Thomas.
Noomi Rapace carried Maja’s pain and guilt convincingly. Based on appearance alone, Rapace was a perfect match for the part, but she also gave a very good performance.
Have a look at the trailer.
Does this look like a film you’d be interested in seeing? I’d like to know what you thought about Maja’s story if you do watch it.