Starring: Wotan Wilke Möhring, Jessica Schwarz, Karoline Herfurth
Director: Bora Dagtekin
Running Time: 115 mins
The Perfect Secret (Das perfekte Geheimnis) is a German film about a group of seven friends who get together for a dinner party, and decide to play a game. Placing each of their phones on the table, they agree to share the content of every message they receive, as they have nothing to hide. However, it soon appears that this is going to be no normal evening.
Having watched a fair few of the Perfect Strangers remakes, I can confidently say that Germany’s The Perfect Secret is by far the best, just behind the Italian original. Full of energy from start to finish, this remake captures the thrillingly chaotic spirit of the original, all the while building on the same story with a sprinkling of new additions that really add to some of the characters.
There’s a lot to love about The Perfect Secret, but the thing that really makes it work so well is its deliriously fast pace. Much like the Italian original, this movie kicks into gear from the word go, and almost never lets up over the course of two thrillingly awkward hours.
Complete with gorgeous set design, sleek cinematography and sharp, witty dialogue throughout, the energy in this movie is absolutely electrifying at times, pulling you deep into the intoxicating madness of the world’s most awkward dinner party, as secret phone messages begin to rip seven friends’ long relationship to pieces.
For the most part, The Perfect Secret stays very close to the story in the Italian original, so if you’ve seen that, the Spanish version or the French version, then this German adaptation won’t necessarily shock you, but it delivers the thrills and spills of this brilliant story in spectacular style.
Complete with moments of gorgeous emotional depth, dark humour and of course the constantly bubbling tension between the friends as their secrets are gradually revealed before one another, The Perfect Secret is an irresistibly entertaining thriller from start to finish.
Those are all comments that apply equally to the Italian original, but The Perfect Secret is also the remake which best manages to adapt the original story. Though much of the screenplay remains the same, this movie manages to throw in a fair few extra hints, character traits and scenes which really add to the story.
Whether it be a quick cut to someone’s phone screen to add to the tension, or a far more fleshed-out backstory as is the case with Karoline Herfurth’s character, The Perfect Secret does a really good job at pinpointing the strengths of this great story, and adding to it where necessary.
And of course, while the screenplay is fantastic here, it wouldn’t be anything without a collection of brilliant performances. All seven leads are full of energy here, and play their roles to perfection, with the standouts being Karoline Herfurth and Jella Hasse, who really impress.
I can’t quite rate this film above the Italian original, perhaps because that still stands as the benchmark for all of these international remakes, but The Perfect Secret is without doubt the best of the adaptations I’ve seen so far. Funny, exciting and brilliantly sleek, complete with great performances and good additions to an already great story, it’s a brilliant watch throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it an 8.2 overall.