‘Dangerous Lies’ is Netflix’s new suspense thriller that sets off a vibe of a bunch of quants getting into a room and look at everything that has been gaining popularity on Netflix and in the TV world in general.
And then decide to put all those popular ideas together, throw in something relatable to our protagonist, and make a movie based on viewer feedback data.
Don’t trust me? -– well, then read on and save yourself the trouble of watching this excruciatingly slow suspense thriller. You can thank me later.
Dangerous Lies Review
So what did they do? They took the base to be ‘Riverdale’ (a Netflix original) hoping to score points with similar demography, took one of the most popular characters Camila Mendes (Riverdale’s Veronica) playing ‘Katie’ the protagonist in this film. She starts out as a waitress at a diner. Sound familiar?
Her broke husband ‘Adam’ (Jessie T. Usher) is a struggling student and is sitting finishing on his schoolwork, waiting to pick her up from her late-night shift at the ‘Smile Diner.’
That’s when there’s a robbery at the diner — again sound familiar? (In case you didn’t get my sarcasm, these are the building blocks of Riverdale too.)
Adam hits the robber with a pan and saves the day; he’s declared a ‘samaritan turned hero’ by the media.
Cut to Katie as a full caregiver at this gentle old man Leonard Wessley’s home (Elliott Gould). She looks after him all day, and they develop a mature bond of friendship in a matter of 4 months only.
Adam quits school to get a proper job and is unemployed. The bills pile up, and they are faced with severe debts and financial crises.
Katie is a diehard romantic and truly believes at the end — “as long as they are together, everything is fine.”
She discusses her financial issues with Leonard, he offers to help her financially, but instead, Katie settles for him, giving Adam a job as a gardener. Regardless, on the next payday, Leonard gives her a cheque of $7000. This is far more than what she is paid as a caregiver.
That same day, a real estate agent comes knocking and asks Katie if the owner would like to sell the house, he introduces himself as “Mickey Hayden.” Katie declines his offer, saying that the owner has lived in the house his entire life and would not be interested in selling it.
This build-up of the story is painstakingly long, as it’s over 35 mins into the movie and the only thing one has seen so far is a couple in love, putting up with financial issues to make it in the real world [again gives a very quant vibe] non-suspense what so ever.
A Predictable Twist
The next day Katie arrives at work to find Leonard dead in the attic, she calls Adam, and he tries to console her. Adam notices a key and finds a trunk unlocked lying nearby, where they found some old letters, with a huge pile of cash buried underneath in the same trunk.
It leaves both Katie and Adam confused, wondering what they should do with it — should they keep all the cash that will help them wipe off their financial distress, or should they leave it buried in the trunk itself?
Subsequently, they call the cops and wait for the formalities with the body to be completed. The detective who arrives on the case, Detective Chesler, thinks it’s a routine case and asks if there was any next of kin or a will that he left behind that Katie knew of. Katie replied, “Leonard wanted to be cremated.”
As Adam and Katie’s financial issues continue, Adam is rejected for another job. He decides to go to Leonard’s house and take the cash in the attic.
While he’s counting the cash, he hears someone breaking in and comes down to check when an intruder hits him on the back of his head, and he faints.
Adam surfaces to a call from Katie, and she comes to the house to rescue him; they finally decide to take the cash, which is almost $100,000. They took a safety deposit box at the bank and kept all the cash in there. So far, we do not know the identity of the intruder who escaped after hitting Adam at Leonard’s house.
There is a new twist to the story when a lawyer named Julia shows up at Leonard’s funeral and tells Katie that he made a will and has left everything, including his massive house, to her (Katie). She is overwhelmed and excited, as this would change their lives completely.
Adam and Katie decide to move into the house immediately. The writers try to cast a shadow of doubt on Adam’s personality, making him appear to have a deceitful dual sides-most of his answers are too good and honest to be true [hint of ‘Dirty John’ vibe].
For instance, he bought a fake Rolex, which drew Katie’s attention and other repetitive statements where he is adamant about not letting things go back to the way they were.
Meanwhile, Detective Chesler finds the ‘windfall’ gains for the couple too conspicuous to ignore and is convinced that Adam is the main culprit behind all the suspicious turn of events, she asks Katie to reveal what he’s been up to.
Sometimes then, Adam gets a call from an unknown number that asks him to come down to the police station to make a statement regarding the Diner robbery incident.
When Adam gets to the station, he’s told that no one from the department had asked him to come, and he bumps into Detective Chesler. She gets more suspicious about something being off about Adam and begins re-investigate the Diner incident.
The detective discovers that the man who committed the robbery was also from the same university that Adam went to and was killed in prison.
She visits Katie’s employer Mr. Chester and tells him about the $7000 cheque that Leonard wrote to Katie. She also asks him if he had approved Adam being hired as the gardener, which, according to Mr. Chester, was against company policy -– suddenly, everything appears dubious about the couple.
The following day, Katie walks into the garage. She stumbles upon some sort of secret room behind a shelf, where she notices all the cheques Leonard had written to the earlier gardener, ‘Ethan,’ who mysteriously disappeared.
While snooping around, she was shocked to find Ethan’s dead body. When Katie tells about this to Adam, he draws out a small blue velvet pouch with diamonds in it — he had already searched the garage and had come across Ethan’s backpack, which had the diamonds.
They are in a quandary again wondering whether they should tell the cops or not — what if the cops suspect them of foul-play, then they could lose everything.
Mr. Chester visits Katie at their house and is very upset, accusing Katie of swindling Leonard’s money and ruining the reputation of his company. Katie tells him this is not a good time and gets rid of him.
That very night, Adam decides to get rid of Ethan’s body to avoid any more encounters with the cops. Strangely, later that night, Katie wakes up to Adam holding a gun and asking her to keep quiet as he hears someone in the house.
He opens the door to find Mr. Chester walking up the steps; he yells at him to freeze when Mr. Chester freaks out and slips down the stairs — and dies.
This entire Mr. Chester’s accidental death episode was such an unnecessary and pointless scene in the film – just to involve another run-in with the cops.
This brings Detective Chesler to the house again and gives her another chance to brainwash Katie against Adam and make her suspicious of his deceptive ulterior motives.
In Katie’s mind, Detective Chesler’s talk has some merit; it makes her suspicions about Adam. She decides to visit the lawyer Julia for advice. She tells Julia most of what’s being going on and decides to visit the bank locker with her.
She finds, Adam has taken all the money from the locker and is now convinced he’s about to flee without her. This is where Katie tells Julia about the diamonds, and Julia tells Katie to ensure Adam is home for her to come and make sure Detective Chesler doesn’t frame her for everything, including Leonard’s murder.
In the meantime, the cops find Ethan’s body in a trash can and link it to Leonard; they call Detective Chesler to inform her about the same. Now cut to the last 15 mins -– which is pretty much the point of this entire movie.
Katie returns from the bank to find Adam, at home, packing all their clothes; he informs her that they are in a lot of trouble. He has discovered that the real estate agent Mickey Hayden is a fraud!
He’s actually a criminal who just got out of a prison, where he was serving time for robbing a jewelry store and got away with 3 million dollars worth of diamonds.
The cops didn’t find his accomplice, who must have been Ethan, dying of a bullet wound, hidden in the garage. Ethan was shot by Mickey to do him out of his share of the loot. This is also why he didn’t cash Leonard’s paycheques to avoid being identified.
Katie calls Julia to tell her all this, but while she’s speaking to her, Hayden shows up and holds her at gunpoint, wanting to know where the diamonds were. The tense situation leads to a shootout between Adam and Hayden, where they end up shooting each other. Just before Adam dies, he tells Katie the diamonds are in the garden.
Julia also arrives at that very moment and tries to console Katie. She tells her they need to look for the diamonds before the police arrive to ensure Katie is exonerated.
Julia insists that Katie focuses on finding the diamonds. Still, Katie explains to Julia that Hayden was the one who killed Leonard. He overdosed his medication, Katie found the medicine bottles, and they were empty, Hayden must have discovered her medicine logbook and accordingly overdosed Leonard.
She knew it was Hayden because Leonard used to tell her that he always felt that there was someone in the house at night, but she never believed him, it’s obvious it was Hayden looking for the diamonds.
This is when Julia narrates how Hayden wasn’t the smartest and how he spent two years in jail, along with the fact that they were diamonds worth 3 million dollars. Katie realizes she never told Julia the value of the diamonds.
Finally, Julia admits she was in on the con with Hayden, and he was quite stupid. She uses Hayden’s gun to threaten Katie to tell her where the diamonds were, but Detective Chesler shows up right then and guns down Julia
[So basically most of the characters die –- very “Game of Thrones” say what?]
The only missing part in all this is that the so-called will that Leonard made was a fake one, and Julia forged it. But since there was no one to contest it, no one really cared, and the house still belonged to Katie.
The movie ends with Detective Chesler telling her that the police have searched the house many times but have found no traces of the diamonds, and the case is closed with Julia and Hayden as prime accused in Leonard’s murder.
The last scene shows the diamonds below a tree clearly hidden in plain sight in the garden.
Someone, please shoot me. What a complete waste of 1 hr 22 mins of my life. Seriously.
Still don’t believe me? See for yourself!
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