White Lie Review – Grifter Drama Hits Every Note

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White Lie, from Rock Salt Releasing, presents a shocking contemporary grifter drama of a popular and talented college student, who manipulates everyone around her with a fabricated cancer diagnosis to raise money and secure the sympathy boost.

The film begins with an extended scene of Katie, played by Kacey Rohl, carefully shaving her head. We immediately move to her college where a campaign, complete with posters, banners, team members are working toward a fundraiser to raise money to help her get to Seattle to participate in a clinical trial.

Kacey Rohl. Image courtesy of Rock Salt Releasing.

At this point, the audience is not quite sure if she genuinely is sick. Her carefully constructed con begins to erode over the course of one week when she is asked for her medical records. She, without hesitation, as if someone has pressed play, recites the proper and right responses.

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It is at this point the audience enters the world of the grifter. She needs new "props" to enforce the cancer diagnosis, and for a fee, she buys a prescription bottle with her name on it. She could also buy the meds, only she her level of donations fell short that day and she had no cash. She also needs medical records, which she had never been asked to produce in the past.

Owen, played by Connor Jessup, hooks her up with a medical resident, Dr. Jordan, played by Thomas Olajide, who agrees for a fee to fabricate medical records. He explains for her con to work, they need to generate a case from a similar patient. And soon she has medical records, complete with the diagnosis of her choice and a history. Unfortunately, she couldn't raise all the money which leaves the last person on her immediate list.

Martin Donovan. Image courtesy of Rock Salt Releasing.

To tap every vein in her attempt to secure the funds to secure the fake medical records, she contacts her Dad, played by Martin Donovan. The two are obviously estranged with trauma in their history and when she pitches her story and fundraiser. It is palpable throughout the scene that he knows she is stealing money and faking her sickness. And we meet the only person who does not believe she has cancer.

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Katie also plays the lesbian card, instead of any number of add-ons, so along with the sympathy boost from cancer, she is also a part of a community who are protected under the law and have empowered rights. Her lover, Jennifer, played by Amber Anderson, is also affluent and financially well-off from a wealthy Jewish family.

Her father in his effort to stop her from defrauding funders, friends, the university, he posts a statement on Facebook explaining, essentially, she is a liar, a fraud, and mentally ill. Soon her staunchest supporters are questioning her, and their loyalty to her. Her posters are ripped off the walls, her application for a scholarship put on hold, the fundraiser online page taken down.

Kacey Rohl.Image courtesy of Rock Salt Releasing.

Even with the medical records and as we travel this grifter road with her we see, the price of silence and medical records increase as the scam becomes more transparent.

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White Lie plays every sympathy card. As the con compounds, we see layer on layer of well-planned responses, presenting the game with authenticity. The film presents a person who lives the lie with such conviction it is her space, her realm, the world she has created and with sincerity, hitting the emotional triggers, she lands every point with skill.

A resonating grifter drama, White Lie, hits all the notes. Echoing truth, perfect, authentic. A shocking contemporary con that could have been pulled from the headlines. A must see!

White Lie is available across all streaming platforms including DirecTV, Amazon, InDemand, iTunes, FlixFling, AT&T, Vimeo on Demand, Vudu, Fandango and Google Play.

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Year – 2019.

Runtime – 96 minutes.

Language – English.

Country – Canadian.

Director - Yohan Lewis, Calvin Thomas.

Screenwriter - Yohan Lewis, Calvin Thomas.

Producer – Karen Harnisch, Yanah Lewis, Katie Bird Nolan, Lindsay Tapscott, Calvin Thomas.

Cast - Kacey Rohl, Amber Anderson, Martin Donovan, Thomas Olajide, Connor Jessup, Sharon Lewis, Christine Horne, Darrin Baker, Zahra Bentham, Shanice Banton, Deborah Tennant, Jamillah Rose, Lanette Ware, Heather Sanderson, Murray Furrow, Dan Beirne, Charlie Zeltzer.

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