Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Secret in Their Eyes

A recently retired criminal court investigator can't stop thinking about a case from 25 years ago so he decides to write a book about it. Unable to find the right words, he visits his friend who is now a judge, whom he has always carried a torch for, who helped him work on the case. Together they recount the brutal rape/murder and the corrupt justice system they encountered. They begin to realize that the case and their unspoken love is still alive today. The Secret in their Eyes is a wonderful film from Argentina that won the Foreign Film Oscar. The brilliant film is hard to get a handle on but is wonderfully realized and told. One scene stands out, which involves a manhunt at a soccer game. This is the kind of work that defies conventional story telling and offers the viewer with a challenging and rewarding experience.

6/15/2010 Well I did get to a second viewing and the film does improve greatly. Though I still think the storytelling is jumbled, everything comes together wonderfully in the end. Like the protagonist, the film has a great story to tell, is not sure how to tell it, and in need of a great ending. Well, it does get its ending.

5/25/10 The Secret in Their Eyes is the 2009 Argentinian film that won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in a year when two other films were predicted over it to take that prize. Now, that it is given its American release, many critics have given it praise, but some like me find its storytelling confounding. It tells the story of a recently retired investigator who is still haunted by a rape/murder from 25 years earlier. In order to attain some closure, he begins to write a novel about his investigation which the film flashbacks to and leads up until the time it is finally solved. I do not have a problem with confusing movies. Films like Michael Clayton don't let you know precisely what's going on but you still have a handle. Here, at least I felt completely lost and did not feel entertained. I also felt that the film was marred by overlength as well. However, it is extremely well filmed with some great visuals and it may be due a second viewing.