‘Strictly Confidential’ Ending Explained & Movie Review: Is Rebecca Dead Or Alive?

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During the height of tabloid culture in the ‘90s and 2000s, Elizabeth Hurley’s relationship with Hugh Grant used to make headlines every day. They generated so much gossip that it reached Indian newspapers as well. Hurley starred in Austin Powers films, EDtv, and Bedazzled, while doing some exceptional work on the small screen in The Royals, Gossip Girl, and Marvel’s Runaways. Now, in the year 2024, she has grabbed headlines by starring in her son Damian Hurley’s directorial debut, Strictly Confidential. To be specific, the movie has garnered attention because it is an erotic thriller and Damian has directed Elizabeth in some racy scenes. I don’t know if that’s a first in the history of cinema, but this is definitely a first in my experience of watching movies. But is the film worth the hype? Let’s find out.

Spoiler Alert


What Is The Film About?

Strictly Confidential revolves around Lily’s family and her daughter Rebecca’s friends. Lily has a house, which is situated somewhere in the Caribbean, and it’s where Rebecca and her friends come to spend the summer. But during one of these vacations, Rebecca decided to walk into the open ocean and disappear. Given how Lily’s husband passed away in a similar fashion, Rebecca’s death seems like a case of some kind of hereditary trait. In order to remember Rebecca on her death anniversary, Mia (Rebecca’s best friend), Jemma (Lily’s daughter and Rebecca’s sister), Will (Rebecca’s boyfriend), James, and Natasha congregated at Lily’s home. 

Mia wasn’t able to shake off the mysterious nature of Rebecca’s death, especially because Rebecca’s suicide note was addressed to her, and she started to make inquiries. This led her to a woman called Catherine, who was the only therapist around, and Rebecca apparently used to come to her for help. Catherine told Mia that Rebecca was pregnant when she died, and Mia connected the dots and assumed that Rebecca couldn’t handle the weight of the pregnancy, and that’s why she died by suicide. In addition to all this, it was revealed that Will was having an affair with Jemma, and Natasha was having an affair with Lily. To make things even more complicated, Mia kept bumping into this random guy, Sebastian, and she engaged in a one-night stand with James. And although things seemed random on the surface, they were connected to each other in a weird manner. 


Who tried to kill Rebecca?

Damian Hurley’s storytelling in Strictly Confidential jumps back and forth in time to hide certain details and use them as plot twists, which is standard practice when it comes to thrillers and mysteries. But given how basic and predictable all of these plot points are, it’s better to lay them out as plainly as possible. So, here’s what happened chronologically: Lily and her husband were going through a rough patch because Lily was in a relationship with Natasha. When Lily’s husband learned about this, he decided to not only confront her but also break off the marriage. This led to a violent altercation between Lily and her husband, and she ended up pushing him to her death. Since Lily never confessed, her husband’s death was ruled off a suicide. Rebecca had suspicions about her mother’s extramarital affair, but when she learned that it had led to her father’s death, she felt extremely disturbed. The situation became all the more sticky for Rebecca when, on a drunken night, she got intimate with James. 

Since Will was having an affair with Jemma, his relationship with Rebecca was non-existent. So she knew that she was pregnant with James’ child. She went to Catherine in the hopes that she’d help her decide whether or not she should abort the unborn child (who was named Mia by Rebecca). Catherine told her that if Rebecca didn’t want to give birth to the child, she should write a letter addressed to her and then bid her goodbye. That would apparently help her through this understandably difficult process. Rebecca did that and then went out to the beach to drink away her sorrows. That’s where she came across Lily, and she told her that she knew how her father had died. Lily told her to sober up and then come home to have a chat about it. Then, James came to meet Rebecca, and she told him that she was pregnant with his baby. James loved Mia, and he didn’t want her to know the truth. That was why James tried to kill Rebecca. 

Since Rebecca’s body wasn’t found, she was presumed to be dead, and as the letter was addressed to Mia, everyone thought it was a suicide note. However, Rebecca was alive, and she was rescued by Sebastian. He helped her recuperate and prepared her for her eventual confrontation with her friends and family. When Rebecca revealed all of these facts to Lily, Natasha, James, Will, Jemma, and Mia, they were shocked. James tried to kill Rebecca again because she was going to the police to report all of this. Lily risked it all and killed James. Lily survived the ordeal, and Rebecca didn’t tell the police that she was her father’s murderer. I guess she counted Lily’s efforts to save her as penance for accidentally killing her father. Mia, Will, and Natasha left the island to go back home, which was when it was revealed that Rebecca hadn’t aborted her child, and it’s possible that she and Sebastian are going to look after her, or Rebecca is going to be a single mother.


Final Words

I don’t think anyone has to be a genius to figure out the intent behind Strictly Confidential. All the actors look stunning and flawless. None of them wear normal clothes, and it seems like their wardrobe is filled with designer clothing only. Everyone is having an affair with everyone. The dialogues are expository. The characters are barely one-dimensional. Apart from a few scenes, the lighting is flat, and the camerawork is dull. The editing is abysmal, especially during the final moments of the film, where it’s clear that Damian and his team didn’t shoot enough coverage and are trying to stretch the scene by repurposing the shots they have at their disposal, which is unintentionally hilarious. The music sounds like it has been extracted from the free soundtracks that you can find on YouTube. As mentioned before, there’s no sense of suspense or thrill to it. You can predict what is going to happen in the first 20 minutes of the film. Damian Hurley clearly thinks he is the master of sleaze, but he isn’t inventive enough to truly test the boundaries of raunchy filmmaking. The film’s title doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it does have a title track that mentions the film’s title. 

With all that said, I have to admit that I couldn’t take my eyes off it because Strictly Confidential falls into the “so bad it’s good” genre. Despite the shortcomings, there’s a sincerity and honesty to it. Damian wants to titillate. It’s just that he isn’t all that skilled. It’s obvious that there’s no chemistry between any of the actors. But it’s fascinating to see them try really hard to convince the viewers that they are engaging in scandalous activities. The performances from the whole cast are interesting, but there’s something engaging about Georgia Lock’s consistently bewildered expression. It makes sense because Rebecca is constantly “on the edge,” but that aspect of her character is so comically heightened that it feels impressive. I am sure that a lot of people will tune into Strictly Confidential because of Elizabeth Hurley’s “racy scenes,” which, in my opinion, are undoubtedly weird. I don’t think I can totally throw away the lens through which I view movies, but if you can, then good for you. What I can do, though, is put on my tinfoil hat and see this movie as an eulogy for Steve Bing, i.e., Damian Hurley’s biological father. No, I won’t elaborate on that. If you read Bing’s Wikipedia page and then watch the movie, I’m sure you’ll be able to see the parallels. So, after taking all this into consideration, I’ll say that Strictly Confidential is worth a watch. I can’t rate it positively because it’s not a well-made film. I can recommend it because of its underlying earnestness. I hope Damian Hurley continues to make movies because the world needs more erotic thrillers with predictable plots and beautiful people.


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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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