Nothing to Hide is a French adaptation of a comedy that was very successful in Italy, called “Perfetti sconosciuti”, made in 2016. In this version, little is changed of the original plot, which is by no means a negative point. The great value of this story that talks about seven friends who have known each other for more than thirty years and decide, on a reunion night, to play a game that involves the messages they receive on their cell phones, is precisely to fool with one of society’s greatest fears: what would happen if your private messages were read in public?
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The game unmasks many stereotypes, and in the end, they realize that despite knowing each other for years, they do not know each other completely. The movie deals quite well with this issue, bringing the focus to comedy, but not without a dramatic tip that also talks a lot about our behavior as individuals: we often have a social “face” that we show to others, and we are completely different in our private world, which resides inside the smartphones (watch here).
A Curious Dinner
In the feature, we accompany the seven friends chatting amicably, as people that know each other for years naturally do. Until the game is proposed by one of them. There is a tension in the air, as if this is not allowed, but everyone comes to accept. What happens next is a comedy of mistakes, where the whole image that each of them cultivated of themselves in front of others is being deconstructed, as secrets and lies come to the surface at the dinner table.
The game consists of: putting all cell phones on the table and all messages received during the dinner period should be read aloud by everyone. Many are reluctant but end up accepting to keep up appearances. They certainly hoped that nothing would happen. But as Murphy’s famous law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.
Nothing to Hide is a sketchy comedy, but that carries a deep criticism of what we have become because of the secrecy that a cell phone can grant us. Each of us have a parallel life within the apps we install in our smartphones, which we don’t want to reveal to anyone. It’s just ours.
When all this comes out in public is that we notice that the public image we make of ourselves has nothing to do with what is stored inside the devices that accompany us all the time. An ordinary dinner turns out to be curious, engaging, and extremely funny.
Stripping our society
And to give life to a plot that requires a good dose of comedy and drama, the cast had to be chosen with care. In Nothing to Hide, the director Fred Cavayé was able to reunite an impeccable team of stars of the French performance. Each dinner attendant gets into trouble by revealing the content of what they so zealously hide in their cell phones, and this is credible because of the casting actors and actresses. It is necessary to highlight the presence of Berenice Bejó, an Oscar-nominated actress in 2012 (as Best Supporting Actress) for the film “The Artist”. However, all other names that are on the table have their moment of brilliance.
Nothing to Hide, therefore, lives up to its original Italian version and delivers a comedy worthy of being cataloged in this genre, in addition of bringing this criticism to contemporary society. Mobile phones and apps allow us to build a life apart, totally online, where our secrets can be hidden. However, this is all a lie.
Trailer and additional information about Nothing to Hide Netflix
Synopsis: To spice up a dinner party, old friends agree to share every private message that pops up on their phones – with disastrous results.
Age rating: 14;