Lies We Tell – The DVDfever Cinema Review – Gabriel Byrne

Lies We Tell

Lies We Tell starts off really well, even though I wasn’t aiming for poetry in my first line.

Gabriel Byrne takes the lead as Donald, the driver to rich old man Demi (Harvey Keitel), who has a Muslim mistress, Amber (Sibylla Deen), but no sooner has Demi shuffled off his mortal coil, and Donald coldly ensures she’s chucked out of his wealthy lifestyle including the man’s apartment.

Amber’s looking to better her life beyond this, as she’s taking her exams to pass the Bar and become a lawyer, but she’s forever drawn into the family situation regarding how her sister, Miriam (Danica Johnson), is planning to marry drug dealer KD (Jan Uddin), who’s also her ex-husband. Miriam can surely do better, as she seems completely oblivious to his business methods, yet as we see when Amber attempts to resolve things, he has an office that looks like Jane Seymour’s red Tarot room in Live and Let Die. All he’s missing is a maniacal laugh that booms out around the speakers.

Add in a scene inside a Muslim-only nightclub which I really didn’t get – and which looked like some sort of secret club for the exceedingly rich, an unnecessary sub-plot based around Demi’s obnoxious son, Nathan (Reece Ritchie), a score which often tends to play in scenes which would be better seen unaccompanied, plus the fact there’s a great deal of the plot that’s related to Muslim culture, and if like me, you’re not hugely familiar with it, then this adds to a movie which doesn’t feel quite as accessible as I’d like.

However, Gabriel Byrne is good as ever, Sibylla Deen is fine, and Mark Addy is his usual reliable self as Byrne’s brother-in-law, even if Mark Addy always plays Mark Addy, and surely he should go for the role he was born to play – the Salford pub called The Mark Addy.

Being a bit more serious, and some of the drama felt more like something made for TV rather than a theatrical release, and while Lies We Tell has its moments – even if one of two rely on Hollywood-style cliches, it’s sometimes quite predictable at times as to how things will pan out.

However, kudos to writer/director Mitu Misra, as getting Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel on board for your first movie is no easy feet, and when he said on yesterday’s BBC Breakfast how he was offered the chance by Keitel to go over to New York and do some acting but said no, that’s like in Ghostbusters when Zuul asks Zed if he’s a God… You say YES! Who cares if you haven’t acted before? Look at Cara and Poppy Delaveigne!!!

Note also that Byrne and Keitel previously worked together on 1993’s The Assassin, known in the UK as Point of No Return. It wasn’t a great remake of Nikita, but then that’s like trying to reinvent the wheel.

Lies We Tell has a limited cinema release now, but is also available on Amazon Video, with a DVD due out in April, and click on the packshot for the full-size image.

Lies We Tell – Theatrical Trailer

Detailed specs:

Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Miracle Communications Ltd, and Bradford International Film Associates Ltd.
Year: 2018
Format: 2.35:1
Released: February 2nd 2018
Rating: 4/10

Director: Mitu Misra
Producers: Danny Gulliver, Andy McDermott and Malcolm Scott
Screenplay: Ewen Glass, Andy McDermott and Mitu Misra
Music: Zbigniew Preisner

Donald: Gabriel Byrne
Amber: Sibylla Deen
Billy: Mark Addy
KD: Jan Uddin
Nathan: Reece Ritchie
Heather: Gina McKee
Anthony Quest: Nicholas Farrell
Tracey: Emily Atack
Haji: Harish Patel
Demi: Harvey Keitel
Miriam: Danica Johnson
Zulfikar: Manzar Sehbai
Banu: Harvey Virdi
Ginger: Hamish Rush
Pinoo: Aqib Khan
Sanaa: Ambur Khan
Pudding: Amer Nazir
Shaeen: Sonia Kaur
Faz: Neet Mohan
Lydia: Toyah Willcox
Sheikh Alam: Mehmood Sultan
Rossiter: Jonathan Kemp
Ruth: Judith Barker
Jameela: Shameem Ahmad
Emma: Natalie Armstrong
Cheryl: Sammy Winward