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The Good Lie

Abital receives an anonymous letter stating that someone entered the refugee camp in Kenya searching for the group. Thinking it is Theo, Mamere travels to Nairobi and searches the refugee camp after they tell him that Theo is not registered. After meeting James, an old friend, he is reunited with Theo the next day. Mamere tries to get immigration papers to multiple embassies and fails, but tells Theo that the "task" was done. At the airport, Mamere reveals to Theo that he could not get him a passport and instead gives Theo his own passport - a deception that is the 'good lie'. After a tearful farewell, Theo leaves and is embraced by his family upon arrival in the United States; Mamere remains in Kenya and works at the camp hospital.

The Good Lie

The title derives from a line in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. A "good lie" is an untruth in which the justice of the outcome supersedes the wrong of having lied. Mamere learns the concept in an English class and applies it dramatically.

I enjoyed following the breadcrumbs and trying to solve the thing. It held me captivated and invested the whole time. Eventually, I managed to figure it out, but only to an extent, and it sure gave me a good run for my money.

The fictionalized drama starts by depicting the brutal pain of war and life of refugees, but later turns into an charmingly fun and emotionally moving feel good movie. Though its change of tone trivializes the gravity of the horrific situation, it has an authentic heart and manage to pass on the intended message with occasional powerful moments, leaving you in state of hope and positivity. A good watch.

The Good Lie may lack structure, but it packs a powerful emotional punch as well as delivering an important social message. It's got some great performances as well, which is inspiring considering the main group of actors are all Sudanese refugees. The Good Lie is more than just an informational piece though; there's a good amount of humor and genuine story to it. All in all, it's a good, thoughtful film that delivers some quality entertainment and fascinating drama.

I wish they weren't forced to deliver the film under 2 hours. I would love to have heard more about the sister and the life she lived in Boston, as well as hearing about Theo's hardships during his capture. The final 30 mins felt rushed to get us to the finish line, but why skip over the good stuff? The journey is far more interesting than the finish line.

This may be a story about refugees from a civil war but it turns into a sweet-natured, feelgood movie. It is engagingly played by Witherspoon and the Sudanese actors. The director Philippe Falardeau, working from a screenplay by Margaret Nagle, doesn't patronise his characters. The only downside in such a likeable and optimistic film is that it risks trivialising the suffering that took its protagonists to America in the first place.

The trailer suggests The Good Lie is focused on Carrie (Reese Witherspoon, Mud), an employment agency counselor tasked with finding the boys jobs on their arrival in the U.S. Since The Good Lie is from the executive producer of The Blind Side, it's a reasonable assumption that this is a similar 'rescue' story. It's really not. Carrie is a bit of a lost soul herself: a trash-talking, morally shaky young woman who is important to the story but hardly the heart of it. That belongs to the boys themselves. Their physical and emotional journey is much more captivating than Carrie's "self-centered woman gets a clue" subplot, though she does make a good foil for the real heroes. 041b061a72


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