Tell me your deepest secret. Want to play? Director Phinehas Hodges explores the potentially damaging effects this dangerous game could have on a relationship, in his sharp and intoxicatingly dark short, Secrets. The film is a penetrating study of love, brimming with an intensity that will hook you in from the very first line and like the best of films, will keep messing with your head long after it ends.
As young couple Kate and Ben start a seemingly innocent game in bed, where they decide to come clean on some embarrassing secrets, things soon take an unexpected turn. Without revealing too much, expect laughs followed by some shocking truths brought to light.
Whilst working on his short film Alone, Hodges sent out a ‘casting call’ to a large group of people, asking them what they did when no one was around. He continued receiving replies from strangers, even after the filming was completed, eager to share their private moments with him. ‘It got me wondering about the nature of secrets and what it is about them that both fascinates and repulses us, and reminded me of an old short story I’d written about this – which I decided to adapt into the film’ – Hodges explains.
Losing his mother when he was a child, the director had first hand experience of going through a life-altering trauma. He was interested in exploring the subject further and thus Secrets became a film about living with a heavy emotional burden and being brave enough to share it in the hope of lightening its weight and finding love. There is a very powerful sense of closeness in the film, achieved physically, through the intimate close up shots, and psychologically, as the audience inevitably relates to the subject matter, be it to a greater or lesser extent. The result is both uncomfortable and enthralling and gives Secrets a startling resonance.
The acting is faultless. The two characters are so believable in their respective roles, you forget they are not a couple in real life. There’s humour and there’s darkness, and the emotional journey from one to the other is achieved with seeming ease. But there’s also tenderness which shades their performances and adds just what the film needs, a subtle but distinctive vulnerability, so compelling it’s heart-breaking.
Watching Secrets, I found myself enamored with Ben and Kate and I was desperate to find out what the future has in store for them. Thankfully Hodges is currently pitching it as a series and I for one am 100% behind him on this one. He is also working on a couple of TV shows and a feature film, so stay tuned to find out more!