The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) Argentinian film

The Secret in Their Eyes – Juan José Campanella

El secreto de sus ojos (original title)

Summary:  Retired, divorced legal counsellor Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darín) sets out on writing a novel on the closed case involving the brutal rape and murder of Liliana Coloto (Carla Quevedo).  Having personally worked on the case 25 years earlier, he feels inextricably drawn back into it and its events.  As he begins to write he discovers he is still haunted by a number of memories left both unexplained and unsolved.  He soon hits a writing block and visits the justice department’s chief at that time Irene Menéndez-Hastings (Soledad Villamil), who reacts to the news of his novel with unease.  They’ve never spoken of the case since, but to help him finish the book she tells him to start at the beginning and he thinks back to when he was first assigned the case.

My Review:  An unpredictable crime thriller flashing between the two parallels of past and present.  The Secret in Their Eyes has a particularly clever tact, arguably not noticeable at first, when peeling away each layer of mystery from its past scenes, it does so by also revealing mysteries of its present.  A skilfully laid-out plot, with good casting and intriguing depth, it deservedly won an Oscar back in 2010 for best film in a foreign language (leaving Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon ignored for the same nomination).  Highlights include a gripping chase through a football stadium, both brilliantly shot and coordinated, and separately a speech on a man’s passion, from Espósito’s sidekick Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), that leaves a mark.   Two hours of an enjoyable watch.

My Rating:  4/5

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