The Secret in their Eyes (Spanish: El secreto de sus ojos) This film was downloaded after an article in The Hindu (beware the article has the spoiler, read it after you watch the film) recommended it here. I hadn’t heard of it, and after googling it found out it won the Academy in 2009. Director Juan Jose Campanella does a brilliant job in bringing out different perspectives of the same circumstance.
I was expecting to see a piece of Argentinian film making, I was left with emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time. There was a strong feeling of shock, disbelief and pure agony. The film deals with the word ‘revenge’ on a different and deeper level. In fact, it’s not revenge, it’s what the one of the character suggests is appropriate. Ricardo’s wife Liliana is brutally raped and murdered. The story revolves around the criminal, the investigators who are caught up in a muck of corruption & politics and the husband of the victim. How he comes to terms with the crime and his interpretations of punishment.
The Secret in their Eyes is primarily a crime drama that revolves around the lives of people who were affected directly by the crime. The family of the victim, the investigators and a reflection of Argentinian state of affairs in the 1970s with reference to corruption, crime and punishment.
The film has strong ideas that are conveyed through amazing dialogues, and delivered by outstanding actors Ricardo Darin who plays the investigator Esposito, and Pablo Rago, who reflects the emotions of Ricardo Morales, husband of the victim.
The cinematography compliments the powerful screenplay. There are numerous long takes which create a sense of intensive drama and action. Frame compositions is a pure work of art, especially in some places where Esposito’s colleague Pablo Sandoval and him are having conversations about understanding the nature of the crime.
I was left speechless for a while after the film ended, the kind of story that plays in your head and refuses to leave even after much distraction. What’s impeccably achieved is the flow of the screenplay by Juan Jose Campanella and Edwardo Sancheri. It sticks to the crime drama genre, but keeps churning out surprises at every turn, without being random or absurd. It’s a book adaptation of La pregunta de sus ojos (The Question in their Eyes) by Edwardo Sancheri.
A must watch for all film buffs. Find it wherever you can, it’s worth the effort.