We’ve all been made aware of the various dangers that are attached to social media platforms. In films, we usually get to see the side of the ones affected by the lies and schemes of some unknown online assailant. ‘White Lie’ decides to take the risk and switches the roles on us.
Katie Arneson (Kacey Rohl) is fighting cancer, and everyone knows it. Through social media and various online funding campaigns she is raising money for cancer awareness while battling her illness … or is she? We’re not exactly spoiling anything by saying that Katie is definitely ill, but it sure isn’t cancer. When a certain Facebook post threatens to expose her, Katie starts spiraling down, struggling to find a way out without revealing her true self.
Sir Walter Scott said it best “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” The screenplay focuses on the incredible lengths Katie will go to to keep from being exposed, all the while digging herself in deeper and alienating the ones who supported her. It’s a risky thing to use such an anti-hero as the lead, doing something so despicable. It would be easy to be revolted by her actions and lose interest in what becomes of her, but in a weird way you almost want her ruse to succeed just as much as you want her to come clean.
That brings us to Kacey Rohl who is downright brilliant as the scheming Katie, wiggling her way out of every precarious situation as she feels the net closing in on her. She carries us through some of the vaguer parts of the screenplay. While well written, it chooses to throw all of its cards on the table fairly quickly, forgoing a possible element of surprise later on. It works, but that is definitely largely due to such a committed performance.
The premise is interesting, and Kacey Rohl is a godsend. The ice-cold, stark cinematography and a suitably jittery soundtrack are the finishing touches to this tense Canadian tale of deceit.
Review – ‘White Lie’
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), January 10, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 96 min.
PRODUCTION: A Rock Salt Releasing release of a Film Forge Productions, Lisa Pictures, Babe Nation Films production. Producers: Karen Harnisch, Yonah Lewis, Katie Bird Nolan, Lindsay Tapscott, Calvin Thomas. Executive producers: Sumit Ajwani, Andrew Cividino, Christina Piovesan, Jonathan Pottins, Greg Stewart.
CREW: Directors/screenplay: Yonah Lewis, Calvin Thomas. Editing/score: Lev Lewis. Cinematography: Christopher Lew.
CAST: Kacey Rohl, Amber Anderson, Martin Donovan, Thomas Olajide, Connor Jessup, Sharon Lewis, Christine Horne, Darrin Baker, Zahra Bentham, Shanice Banton.