The Secret She Kept (2016)

The Secret She Kept (2016)


Kyla Pratt in The Secret She Kept (2016)

Despite having been turned down before Lance (Gavin Houston) decides to ask girlfriend Tia (Kyla Pratt) to marry him during a press conference she has thrown to announce she is running for D.A., a position her beloved grandfather held before he died in an accident. This time Tia says yes and on the spur of the moment they decide to head off and exchange vows. It is after they get married that Lance notices that not only is Tia having some strange outbursts and acting a little crazy but during a meal with Tia's mum and uncle he mentions something about ailments running in the family. Having looked through the medicines which Tia's mum takes he notices several used for the control of bipolar leading to him suspecting that Tia not only suffers with bipolar but has stopped taking her medication as she can't work so hard taking it. But with Tia refusing to telling him anything and her mum trying to protect Tia by turning her against Lance, he is going to have to get devious if he is going to help his wife.

I have watched a few movies which tackle the subject of mental health from massive multiple personality disorders to depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. To place "The Secret She Kept" into the mix this is less of an examination of a character with both bipolar and schizophrenia but a drama built around that character and her family. As such there are times where it feels like Tia's mental health issues are being used solely as part of this bigger plot where Lance is trying to discover the truth and is becoming frustrated by those trying to hide it from him, including Tia and her mum.

Gavin Houston in The Secret She Kept (2016)

What this means is that "The Secret She Kept" is a bit all over the place. In some places it tries to look at the effects of someone who has mental health issues and how the drugs used to keep life in check also robs them off their ability to work to their full potential and how missing a dose can lead to irrational thoughts which end up spiralling out of control. But we also see in the case how Tia is scared she will lose Lance if he ever learned the truth and so we have her and her mother trying to keep things from him. But the flip side to this is that "The Secret She Kept" is also an examination of love and acceptance as we wonder whether Lance is so in love with Tia that he can do the same.

What this all boils down to is that "The Secret She Kept" tries to straddle the line of being an informative look at bipolar disorder but then also be a drama surrounding a family who have inherited mental illnesses and with them have come a lot of secrets. It does make it entertaining but at times the thriller side of this weakens the exploration of mental illness.

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