Metro

Getting a Second Opinion

Is there such a thing as objective truth, or is it all a matter of perspective? This question permeates every fibre of

The Second (Mairi Cameron, 2018), interrogated through both the film’s storyline and the particular way it unfolds and unravels before the audience’s eyes. While the trio of characters on screen pull and trap one another in deeper and deeper lies, ultimately, the greatest trick is that which Cameron plays on viewers. This isn’t one film; it’s three – and which, if any, of these depicts the ‘truth’ is debatable.

THE THRILLER RED FLAGS START MOUNTING RAPIDLY. THERE’S THE ALTERCATION WITH A MYSTERIOUS TRUCK-DRIVING STRANGER, COUPLED WITH THE LONG STRETCHES OF AUSTRALIAN COUNTRY ROAD THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO MENTALLY SEPARATE FROM HORROR SCENARIOS. THERE’S THE DUSTY PROPERTY LITTERED WITH REMINDERS OF AN ALOOF FATHER.

The Second begins its multilayered deception from its opening moment. An author is preparing to be interviewed. She’s only got a little bit of time – ‘Press tours …’ she offers vaguely, by way of explanation. ‘You’re in demand,’ the initially gushing interviewer replies. From the conversation, it’s clear that the author is successful. Her first book, an erotic memoir, has garnered awards and acclaim. Her newly released second book, however, has come as a bit of surprise. ‘Something entirely different,’ the interviewer says. ‘The story of a murdered boy.’

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