Nothing to Hide plays a blinder at revealing hidden secrets in well-established relationships at a hosted dinner party.
In a generation where the smartphone is a physical component of your soul rather than a useful accessory, Nothing to Hide, or Le jeu, is a thrilling reminder that smartphones hold the darkest secrets. I remember once there was a clever Durex advert that asked couples to remove their smartphones in a test environment; the condom company knows that the technology kills a relationship.
Occasionally, a film reminds me why I enjoy storytelling on the screen. Nothing to Hide is one of those movies; the Netflix film manages to fill 90 minutes with conversation and intrigue as a group of couples (and a third wheel) have a dinner night. One of the women, who also happens to be a therapist, suggests that they play a game.
The game is that they all put their phones in the centre of the table and when an email, text, phone or any other application comes through, they have to reveal to the table who and what it was. To enjoy Nothing to Hide, you have to suspend your belief to enjoy the scenario. There is no way on God’s earth that a group of couples would agree to this game. The ratios and probabilities that at least one person has something to hide are considerably high.
Nothing to Hide develops this scenario and intentionally drops brief character behaviours before the game begins to plant ideas in your head of what is going to be revealed. Nothing to Hide places dialogue over the concept, allowing the characters to breathe, talk and get frustrated before another phone buzzes. The Netflix film plays out this game marvellously.
Nothing to Hide is driven by genuinely superb performances, but it is the twists and the tension between couples that makes the audience feel like they are sat at the table. The relationships are highly convincing, making this movie one of my favourite stories of the year.
If you are reading this, and you are about to host a mature dinner party with well-established couples, I dare you to suggest this game and see the reactions. Nothing to Hide is that worst nightmare.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.