White Lie documents student Katie as she struggles to maintain the appearance of a fake cancer diagnosis.
With such delicate subject matter, you’d except White Lie to take a stance; either vilifying its protagonist or giving her manner of redemption, but in fact, it takes a much more nuanced and reserved approach to its storytelling that really pays off.
From the off, it’s established that Katie is faking her cancer and raising funds for her “treatments”. What’s never made clear is why, and throughout the movie, each scene is subtly plagued by that silent question.
White Lie stars Kacey Rohl, who delivers an absolutely mesmerizing performance as the deeply disturbed Katie Arneson, who, in spite of her inhuman nature, manages to elicit more than a little emotion from the audience.
Despite Katie’s heinous lies and truly unscrupulous nature, I still found myself willing her on, hoping she could maintain her horrific ruse and continue to defraud her friends, and I really couldn’t have explained for a single moment exactly why that was.
White Lie shines a light on one of society’s seediest corners, telling the story of the sort of person that we’ve all met in our lifetimes: a compulsive liar. Rohl perfectly captures the brazen attitude of those unburdened by morals, neither humanizing nor demonizing her – Katie simply is, and it’s not up to us whether she’s right or wrong.
That isn’t to say the movie doesn’t also feature an incredible supporting cast; with Amber Anderson as Katie’s girlfriend Jennifer, Martin Donovan as Katie’s disapproving father Doug Arneson, Connor Jessup as accomplice Owen and Thomas Olajide as Dr. Jabari Jordan – all of which deliver outstanding turns in their respective roles.
White Lie is one of those rare movies that you find yourself glued to not out of curiosity, but out of some form of hypnosis, so enthralling is its dark, unpleasant and utterly believable narrative.
It’s hard to find anything about White Lie that wasn’t beautifully executed. From premise to writing, acting to cinematography, it’s a journey that feels every bit as authentic and unsettling as our everyday society.
Summary: White Lie achieves all that it sets out to, forcing us to take stock of those around us and just what they might be capable of.
Rock Salt Releasing has released ‘White Lie’ on various digital streaming platforms on 1/5/2021 (DirecTV, Amazon, InDemand, iTunes, FlixFling, AT&T, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, Fandango & Google Play). You can purchase it at http://bit.ly/WhiteLieMovie.
Special thanks goes to Rock Salt Releasing for the screening!