Written by Jeffrey Schenck and Peter Sullivan, Absolute Deception, just as the title depicts, is a story of deceit and fraud. Journalist Rebecca (Emmanuelle Vaugier) was led to believe that her husband, Miles Scott, died in a fatal motor accident where he got burnt beyond recognition. She lived in this delusion for two years until the day an FBI agent, Nelson (Cuba Gooding), walked up to her doorstep and broke the news of her husband’s death…again. Agent Nelson narrated the details of the circumstances surrounding his death with irrefutable evidence. She could not bring herself to believe that her husband had lied and betrayed her trust on all grounds. She was confused but nevertheless determined to unravel the mystery behind her husband’s ‘intermittent death’, Rebecca jetted out to Australia to procure answers that would lend some sense to the whole situation. Unknown to Agent Nelson, Dennis Archer’s supposedly second death which he thought he beheld with his own eyes was likewise a sham.
At this point, one might ask why the man, Miles Scott, aka Dennis Archer, was going all about faking his own death. What exactly is his end game? Well, judging from the title, one ought not to expect anything short of trick and imposture. The journey to Australia unriddled many things. On arriving in Australia, Rebecca met with stiff oppositions from Agent Nelson who insisted that she went back to her life in New York and leave the investigation to the FBI. She was going to be exposing herself to danger, which she actually did, escaping murder attempts on a couple of occasions. But Rebecca remained undaunted, pressing hard and becoming more resolute in her quest for the unraveling of the truth. She was not only determined but also smart and intelligent. Rebecca realized that her husband(now Dennis Archer in Australia) had indeed been involved in shady, fraudulent deals. Just when one thinks one knows all there is know about someone, surprises spring up! Rebecca could never have ever imagined in a split second that her husband of six years could be involved in what was glaringly staring back at her from his computer screen.
What do you think you know about your partner, friend, co-worker or even your spouse? Judging a book by its cover could indeed be perilous as ‘Absolute Deception’ did intriguingly expound. Rebecca and Nelson had their versions of who Dennis Archer was. Alas! All were victims of absolute deception. How certain are you of your friend’s moral uprightness? To what extent will you vouch for another’s strength of character? How shocked Nelson was when he found out that his principled superior, Inspector Hendricks, was working with Dennis. Although Hendricks had been a cog in the wheel of progress where the ongoing investigation was concerned, nevertheless, Nelson had never had cause to doubt the man’s morality and loyalty to the Bureau. Series of events unfolded and Nelson and Rebecca caught Dennis and Hendricks as they were trying to access Osterberg’s data. Rebecca thought her imagination was at work when she saw her husband, in flesh and blood, working together with a federal agent to commit fraud.
Since we cannot really tell the intentions and heart of people, should we then go about paranoid and trust no one? I believe we still have to trust someone, somehow. And it’s not like we afford not to anyway. Social interactions hinge basically on concepts like trust, understanding, and respect. We must realize that more than occasionally, we give trust in advance, without the other person earning it. Overtime, after subsequent interactions, the trust either gets justified and more solidified or invalidated and shattered. It’s when that happens that we choose to trust or distrust. So, the problem isn’t with trusting initially, which seems quite natural, but holding on when the trust is being disrespected. There are instances where it seems difficult to believe that someone just shattered our trust, but we must be always ready to accept those things when they happen. It can happen. For our own good, we must re-calibrate our trust for such a person. Our trust is ours to give. It was never their fault that we trusted them in the first instance. That’s why we must own our trust, take responsibility for it and make sure it isn’t given to people who wouldn’t respect it regardless. It can be disappointing to get our trust dashed, we just mustn’t damage ourselves because someone else decided to reveal themselves and how much dignity they place on trust.
The power of money surfaced in the storyline when Nelson and Rebecca finally discovered where Dennis had stacked the sum of 10 million dollars which he stole from Osterberg. But for Nelson who talked her out of it, Rebecca would have put aside for herself some of the illegal cash comprising her husband’s ill-gotten wealth. Again, Nelson and Rebecca’s integrity was put to test when Dennis offered them both a staggering sum of money which would have forever caused them both to live above an averagely comfortable lifestyle, if only they would agree to sweep the whole matter under the carpet. In the face of this temptation, Nelson and Rebecca uncompromisingly stood their moral grounds and rooted for the prevalence of justice.
Letting go, in certain situations, is the only way to forge ahead in life. When the truth she had set-out to uncover starkly stared her in the face, Rebecca did not hesitate in letting go of whatever shred of emotion she still had left for her husband, and went on to pull the trigger on him when presented the opportunity. Of course, after that height of deception and deceit, a reunion between them was inconceivable. After all, if a dog bites you once, it is mad; but if the same dog bites you twice, you are the one who is mad.