Bosoms heave, hoop skirts flutter and britches swell in Charlie Stratton’s torrid tale of forbidden passion based on Emile Zola’s scandalous 1867 novel, Therese Raquin.
For all the lustful glances and whimpering surrenders to carnal desire on-screen, audiences should remain unflustered.
The only thing In Secret is likely to arouse is an occasional snort of derision.
This is an artfully composed tableaux of sexual repression and murderous intent in which lovers conduct dangerous liaisons within ear-shot of relatives but are never overheard, and one woman condemns her entire gender to servitude by toiling over an embroidery bearing the motto, “Don’t make a sound. Keep quiet.”
When the film’s heroine dares to disobey this stitched directive and openly questions her spouse, he snaps petulantly, “I am the husband. I make the decisions. I am not asking you, I’m telling you.”
The film follows his lead and signposts every twist.