White Lie (2020)

A woman goes to great lengths to keep her life intact in this Canadian drama that tackles a real-life issue.

Katie Arneson is a college student who looks to have cancer and has been raising money for her treatments. There is only one problem. She actually doesn’t have cancer. She has been raising money for herself through fundraisers and other means, including her relationship with her partner Jennifer. When Katie has an opportunity to earn a scholarship, she must give the sponsors her medical records to get that scholarship. With the help of her friend Owen, Katie meets Dr. Jabari Jordan, who offers to change her medical records for a steep price.

When Katie attempts to get the money from her father, he is convinced she is faking her illness and has no means to help her out. When Katie does meet the doctor, she is unable to get the records as she only has part of the money. Soon enough, Katie’s world is about to come crashing down on her. It all starts when her father attempts to contact Jennifer about Katie’s lie. Things only get worse when Katie learns her father has made a post on Facebook about Katie’s lie. Katie then must make a choice: do whatever it takes to keep the ruse going or to come clean once and for all and tell the truth.

The story of faking something to get fame and recognition or even money is something that happens not just on screen, but in real life. News will pop up of fake Olympic athletes, people faking illnesses to get money, and other similar issues. This film tackles the issue of faking an illness to raise money for themselves and the courses of action one does to keep that secret intact. Writers/directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas must have done some research to see how far people will go to keep their ruses going only to have them unravel at critical moments, because this is a well-crafted film.

Kacey Rohl does a brilliant job in the role of central character Katie. Her opening scene shows her shaving her head then we learn she is raising money. We soon learn enough she is faking it and it does get confirmed by her father Doug, played in a cameo scene by veteran Martin Donovan. He becomes the catalyst for Katie’s potential downfall, and it becomes clear her world is crashing down on her. We see Rohl play a character whose nerves and guilty conscience getting the best of her and it is after meeting with a friend’s mother, a litigator, that she questions herself and what she must do.

Amber Anderson does a really good job as Katie’s partner and one of only two lifelines of support, Jennifer. Connor Jessup’s Owen is the other lifeline, a friend whose connections attempt to have Katie keep her secret intact and they include not one, but two doctors who are willing to help Katie for a price. And this may come into question certain practices involving medical practitioners who may have eventually been caught her doing this. In the case of the former, a tragedy involving a loved one may be the motivation of his moral code but once again, Katie finds herself in a position to keep the ruse going.

White Lie tackles a serious issue and churns out excellent performances, mainly from Kacey Rohl. A very emotional drama that should be seen for those who like to see real issues brought to life.

WFG RATING: A-

Rock Salt Releasing presents a Film Forge/Lisa Pictures film in association with Babe Nation Films. Directors: Yohan Lewis and Calvin Thomas. Producers: Karen Harnisch, Yonah Lewis, Katie Bird Nolan, Lindsay Tapscott, and Calvin Thomas. Writers: Yohan Lewis and Calvin Thomas. Cinematography: Christopher Lew. Editing: Lev Lewis.

Cast: Kacey Rohl, Amber Anderson, Martin Donovan, Thomas Olajide, Connor Jessup, Sharon Lewis, Christina Horne, Darrin Baker, Zahra Bentham, Shanice Banton, Spencer Glassman.

Rock Salt Releasing will release it on various digital streaming platforms on January 5, 2021. Pre-Orders will begin on December 20, 2020.

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